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State of the Education Report for India 2019: Children with disabilities

RAMCHAND, Mythili
et al
July 2019

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The past twenty years in India have seen significant legal and political commitments towards universalization of education and the right to education. This report documents the considerable effort undertaken in the country to protect the right to education of children with disabilities (CWD) and outlines what remains to be done to achieve its full realization. 

The report is based on extensive research of national and international literature and attempts to provide comprehensive information on the current status of education of CWDs, evidence of achievements and continuing concerns. It extensively draws upon a series of thematic research studies between 2017 and 2018. 

The report has taken a participatory approach with contributions, in the form of case studies, from specialists and those working directly in the field. 

The experiences of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities in inclusive schools in Accra, Ghana

OKYERE, Christiana
ALDERSEY, Heather M.
LYSAGT, Rosemary
2019

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Background: Inclusive education is internationally recognised as the best strategy for providing equitable quality education to all children. However, because of the unique challenges they often present, children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs) are often excluded from inclusive schools. To date, limited research on inclusion has been conducted involving children with IDD as active participants.

 

Objectives: The study sought to understand the experiences of children with IDDs in learning in inclusive schools in Accra, Ghana.

 

Method: A qualitative descriptive design was utilised with 16 children with IDDs enrolled in inclusive schools in Accra, Ghana. Participants were recruited through purposive sampling and data were collected using classroom observations, the draw-and-write technique and semi-structured interviews. The data were analysed to identify themes as they emerged.

 

Results: Children’s experiences in inclusive schools were identified along three major themes: (1) individual characteristics, (2) immediate environments and (3) interactional patterns. Insights from children’s experiences reveal that they faced challenges including corporal punishment for slow performance, victimisation and low family support relating to their learning.

 

Conclusion: Although children with IDDs receive peer support in inclusion, they experience diverse challenges including peer victimisation, corporal punishment and low family and teacher support in their learning. Improvement in inclusive best practices for children with IDD requires systematic efforts by diverse stakeholders to address identified challenges.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 8, 2019

Between duty and right: disabled schoolchildren and teachers’ ableist manifestations in Sweden

GILLBERG, Claudia
PETTERSSON, Andreas
2019

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In this article we discuss ableist manifestations about chronically ill and disabled schoolchildren in Sweden. On claiming their right to schooling, these children risk being excluded due to not conforming with norms while being refused alternative formats that would enable participation. They are then accused of not attending school and construed as problematic. Parents are derided as mollycoddling perpetrators by teachers who perceive themselves as superior knowers of disability and illness, polarising an already infected school debate. Alternative formats for participation are derided, claiming that certain disabilities do not exist or that parents exaggerate their children’s symptoms. We concede that teachers’ poor work environments due to underfunding and unreasonable workloads are problematic, but we are adamant that unfavourable work conditions must not entail unethical professional conduct. We hope this article will contribute to putting the situation of chronically ill and disabled schoolchildren in Sweden on the radar of Critical Disability Studies as well as in relevant fields of practice and that it might stimulate a change in public debate.

An amalgam of ideals – images of inclusion in the Salamanca Statement

MAGNÚSSON, Gunnlaugur
2019

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The Salamanca Statement is a primary point of departure in research and policy on inclusive education. However, several problems have surfaced in the 25 years since its publication. In particular, several different interpretations of the concept of inclusive education and its enactment in practice have arisen. For instance, the definition of the pupil groups in focus varies greatly. There are also varying definitions of the importance of pupil-placement, when it comes to organisation of inclusive education. Using a theoretical framework combining Bacchi’s [1999. Women, Policy and Politics. The Construction of Policy Problems. London: Sage Publications] poststructural policy-analysis and concepts from Popkewitz [2009. “Curriculum Study, Curriculum History, and Curriculum Theory: The Reason of Reason.” Journal of Curriculum Studies 41 (3): 301–319. doi:10.1080/00220270902777021], this article illustrates that The Salamanca Statement allows for a variety of interpretations of inclusion. As a policy-concept, inclusion encompasses an amalgam of political ideals, including welfare-state ideals where education is viewed as a public-good, as well as market-ideals of education as a private-good. Policies of inclusion also define the desired citizen, through categories of disadvantaged children, the ones excluded but to be included for their own good as well as for the good of the future society. The conclusions are that researchers and policy-makers should elucidate what they mean by inclusion with for instance moral- and practical arguments rather than vague references to The Salamanca Statement.

Supporting the enactment of inclusive pedagogy in a primary school

BRENNAN, Aoife
KING, Fiona
TRAVERS, Joe
2019

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While inclusion has generally been accepted as orthodoxy, a knowledge – practice gap remains which indicates a need to focus on inclusive pedagogy. This paper explores how teachers in the Republic of Ireland primary school were supported to develop inclusive pedagogy to meet the needs of learners with special educational needs (SEN). It is underpinned by a conceptual framework which combines an inclusive pedagogical approach and key principles of effective professional development (PD) arising from the literature, which informed the development of a professional learning community (PLC) for inclusive practice in a primary school. The impact of the PD on teachers’ professional practice was explored using an evidence-based evaluation framework. Analysis of interview and observation data evidenced that engagement with inclusive pedagogy in a PLC, underpinned by critical dialogue and public sharing of work, positively impacted teacher attitudes, beliefs, efficacy and inclusive practice. This research offers a model of support for enacting inclusive pedagogy.

Adapting and pre-testing the World Health Organization’s Caregiver Skills Training programme for autism and other developmental disorders in a very low-resource setting: Findings from Ethiopia

TEKOLA, Bethelem
et al
May 2019

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The World Health Organization’s Caregiver Skills Training programme for children with developmental disorders or delays teaches caregivers strategies to help them support their child’s development. Ethiopia has a severe lack of services for children with developmental disorders or delays. This study explored the perspectives of Ethiopian caregivers, professionals and other stakeholders to inform adaptation and implementation of the World Health Organization’s Caregiver Skills Training in Ethiopia. Data collection included (1) a consultation and review, comprising stakeholder meetings, review of draft Caregiver Skills Training materials and feedback from Ethiopian Master Trainees and (2) a pre-pilot including quantitative feasibility and acceptability measures and qualitative interviews with caregivers (n = 9) and programme facilitators/observers (n = 5).

 

Autism 2020, Vol. 24(1) 51–63

https://doi.org/10.1177/1362361319848532

Children with Cerebral Palsy in Bangladesh: Their Contribution to the Development of a Rehabilitation Training Programme

ZUURMOND, Maria
MAHMUD, Ilias
HARTLEY, Sally
2019

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Purpose: Although cerebral palsy is the most prevalent health condition linked to childhood disability in Bangladesh, support and rehabilitation for this group is limited and intervention development is slow. An initiative to address these unmet needs was the development of a parent training programme for the rehabilitation of children with cerebral palsy. The aim of this study was to explore what was important in the everyday lives of children with cerebral palsy in rural Bangladesh and take their views into account in order to inform the parent/caregiver training programme.

 

Methods: Qualitative data was collected from12 children with cerebral palsy, between 5 - 14 years of age. The children were purposively selected from among those who attended the parent training programme. A participatory method called the ‘Feeling Dice’ was used to elicit children’s feelings about their everyday lives. The approach was easy to use, acceptable in the local context, the children enjoyed the activity, and it generated rich information.

 

Results: ‘Inclusion in play’ and ‘being able to attend school’ made the children happy and were their two main priorities, yet were not key issues for parents. The children were frustrated by their dependence on others for day-to-day activities such as feeding, bathing, and transport to school. Children also played an important part in encouraging their parents to attend the training course.

 

Conclusion: This study showed that valuable information can be gathered from children with cerebral palsy by using a simple and adaptable participatory research tool. Children’s views and priorities sometimes differed from those of their parents and carers, and could be useful for developing more relevant and valid interventions. Children need to be recognised as important ‘agents of change’ within their own rehabilitation. This methodology is in harmony with the UNCRPD recommendations, and supports inclusive and rights-based intervention development.

Barriers in Dental Care Delivery for Children with Special Needs in Chennai, India: A Mixed Method Research

KRISHNAN, Lakshmi
IYER, Kiran
KUMAR, Parangimalai Diwakar Madan Madan
2019

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Purpose: The study aimed to assess the barriers faced by children with disability, both qualitatively and quantitatively, from the perspectives of caregivers and dental practitioners.

 

Methods: A concurrent mixed method design was used. A sample of 195 dentists and 100 caregivers was selected through convenience sampling. A prevalidated questionnaire was used to assess the barriers faced by the children with disability in their care. Focus group discussions and in-depth interviews were conducted with caregivers. Descriptive statistics were computed using SPSS version 20 and thematic analysis of qualitative data was done using NVivo software.

 

Results: 195 dentists and 100 caregivers responded to the survey. Majority of practising dentists (83.7%) reported inadequate training in handling children with special needs, while caregivers (38%) reported fear of dentist among the children as major barriers experienced in utilising dental services.

 

Conclusion and Implications: This study helps to identify the barriers faced by children with special healthcare needs. The findings highlight the need for hands-on training to be incorporated into the dental curriculum. It also suggests that improvements be made in dental clinics to accommodate these children in comfort. Due to limitations of the study, it is suggested that there is a need for further longitudinal studies that involve other family members of children with disability.

Childhood factors predict participation of young adults with cerebral palsy in domestic life and interpersonal relationships: a prospective cohort study

VAN GORP, Marloes
ROEBROECK, Marij E
VAN ECK, Mirjam
VOORMAN, Jeanine M
TWISK, Jos W R
Dallmeijer, Annet J
Van Wely, Leontien
May 2019

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Purpose: To determine childhood predictors of participation in domestic life and interpersonal relationships of young adults with cerebral palsy (CP).

 

Materials and methods: This 13-year follow-up of an existing cohort (baseline age 9–13 years) included 67 young adults with CP (age 21–27 years). The Vineland adaptive behavior scales (VABS) and Life Habits questionnaire were used to assess attendance and difficulty in participation in domestic life and interpersonal relationships. Baseline factors were categorised according to the international classification of functioning, disability, and health. Stepwise multiple linear regression analyses determined significant predictors (p < 0.05).

 

Results: Lower manual ability, intellectual disability (ID), epilepsy and lower motor capacity predicted decreased future participation in domestic life, and/or interpersonal relationships (explained variance R2 = 67–87%), whereas no association was found with environmental and personal factors. Extending models with baseline fine motor skills, communication, and interpersonal relationships increased R2 to 79–90%.

 

Conclusions: Childhood factors account for 79–90% of the variation in young adult participation in domestic life and interpersonal relationships of individuals with CP. Children with limited motor capacity, low manual ability, ID, or epilepsy are at risk for restrictions in participation in young adulthood. Addressing fine motor, communication, and social skills in paediatric rehabilitation might promote young adult participation.

Family-based activity settings of children in a low-income African context

BALTON, Sadna
UYS, Kitty
ALANT, Erna
2019

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Background: There has been an overwhelming call to improve the understanding of how children develop within an African context as Euro-American definitions of competence have been uncritically adopted as the norm for children in Africa. The activities that children engage in within the family setting are seen as important to understand how children develop within context. The use of activity settings is closely aligned with a strengths-based perspective of family-centred practice and contributes to improved sustainability of intervention.

 

Objectives: This study that was conducted in Soweto, South Africa, aims to describe activity settings that typically developing young children in low-income African contexts participate in.

 

Method: A descriptive design using structured interviews was utilised to obtain information about activity settings that children aged 3–5 years and 11 months engaged in. Structured interviews with 90 caregivers were conducted.

 

Results: Findings show that children participate in a variety of activities with varied participation levels. The types of activities are dependent on the context and perceptions of caregivers.

 

Conclusion: These findings draw attention to understanding activities that children engage in within the family context.

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 8, 2019

Lived experiences of caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorder in Kenya

CLOETE, Lizahn G
OBAIGWA, Evans O.
2019

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Background: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a global public health concern. In African countries such as Kenya, there is a greater need for establishing support services for developmental disorders such as ASD. The emotional, social and economic burden of ASD on caregivers is unknown because of a number of challenges. Citizens of Kenya have a unique view of disability and inclusion.

 

Objectives: To explore the perspectives of caregivers who are responsible for caring for both family and children living with ASD and to highlight the needs of children with ASD as well as the needs of their caregivers.

 

Method: A qualitative, descriptive phenomenological study utilising focus group discussions (FGDs) was conducted. Verbatim transcription was used. QSR N ’Vivo 10 was used to organise and analyse the data. Content analysis was used to identify important ideas and concepts.

 

Results: One theme, namely ‘the burden of caring for children with ASD’, was identified. Children with ASD and their caregivers experience isolation and stigmatisation.

 

Conclusion: Occupational therapists in Kenya should collaborate with the relevant national and global stakeholders for the promotion of the inclusion of children with ASD and their families. Responsive and context-appropriate occupational therapy interventions may begin to address service barriers.

 

 

African Journal of Disability, Vol 8, 2019

South Korean elementary school teachers’ experiences of inclusive education concerning students with a multicultural background

KIM, Soo-Kyung
RUNDGREN, Shu-Nu Chang
2019

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Due to the increase of economic immigration over the last few decades, South Korea has rapidly become a multi-ethnic society. The number of students with a multicultural background (SMBs) has increased more than tenfold in the past ten years. Research has revealed that despite physical inclusion of SMBs in general classrooms, SMBs tend to struggle at school as a result of language difficulties, academic underachievement, and social isolation. Shedding light on the Salamanca thinking, this study aims to investigate how teachers’ experiences of SMBs vary according to school cultures. Thirteen teachers from three schools (with different school cultures) were invited to participate in qualitative semi-structured interviews. It was revealed that the teachers, who worked in the different school cultures, expressed differently with regard to (1) teachers’ reasoning about SMBs’ struggles, (2) teachers’ professional knowledge and strategic practices, (3) collaboration with a multicultural education supervising teacher (MEST), and (4) dependency upon external support. The school judged to be contributing to ‘true’ inclusion was characterised by ample support from a MEST and the creation of an inclusive learning environment for SMBs as a whole-school approach. What can further ‘true’ inclusion of SMBs in elementary schools and the implications thereof are discussed.

Managing oneself or managing together? Parents’ perspectives on chronic condition self-management in Dutch pediatric rehabilitation services

WONG CHONG, Ruud
WILLEMEN, Agnes M
VOORMAN, Jeanine
KETELAAR. Marjolijn
BECHER, Jules
VERHEIJDEN, Johannes
SCHUENGEL, Carlo
April 2019

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Purpose: With the growing attention in pediatric rehabilitation services for supporting self-management, the need increases for more shared understanding of the concept. The aim of this study was to explore parent activation, associated factors of- and underlying perceptions on parental self-management of parents of children with chronic conditions.

 

Materials and methods: Using a mixed-methods strategy, first variations in self-management behaviors, motivation and perceived autonomy support were assessed with a cross-sectional survey among parents of children with chronic conditions (N = 239). Statistical analysis involved descriptive statistics and univariate analysis of variance. The survey was followed by 18 in-depth interviews with parents. Thematic analysis was used to recognize relevant topics in the qualitative data.

 

Results: In the survey most parents reported being active self-managers. Nevertheless, only one third persisted in self-management when under stress. Autonomous motivation was strongly associated with parental self-management. In the interviews, parents mentioned attuning with professionals and finding balance as important aspects of self-management. To facilitate self-management, professionals were expected to have expert knowledge, be engaged and empathic.

 

Conclusion: From the perspective of parents, self-management should be viewed as a collaborative effort in which they are supported by professionals, rather than having to manage it “by themselves”.

Parental satisfaction with inclusion in physical education

WILHELMSEN, Terese
SØRENSEN, M. S
SEIPPEL, Ø
BLOCK, M. E
2019

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Knowledge is scarce on parental satisfaction with the inclusion of children with disabilities in physical education (PE). This study explored how parents’ satisfaction with inclusion in PE was associated with parental and child interpersonal and intrapersonal characteristics. Seventy-two parents of children with disabilities participated in the survey-based study. The results of the ordinary least square regression (OLS) and quantile regression (QR) indicated that the parents’ satisfaction with social inclusion in PE was associated with their attitudes towards inclusion in PE, perceived PE-related information sharing, and the type of disability and degree of physical inclusion. Parents’ satisfaction with pedagogical inclusion of children in PE was associated with their attitudes towards inclusion in PE, PE-related information sharing, and the children’s degrees of disability and physical inclusion. Furthermore, the QR estimates indicated that the explanatory strength of parental attitudes towards inclusion in PE varied with the degree of parental satisfaction with social and pedagogical inclusion of their children in PE. Practical and methodological implications of the findings are discussed.

Views of children with cerebral palsy and their parents on the effectiveness and acceptability of intensive speech therapy

PENNINGTON, Lindsay
RAUCH, Rosie
SMITH, Johanna
BRITTAIN, Katie
March 2019

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Purpose: To understand children and parents’ views of the effectiveness and acceptability of intensive dysarthria therapy.

 

Materials and Methods: Twenty-two children with cerebral palsy and dysarthria joined a pilot RCT comparing intensive therapy and usual care. Children (n = 11) allocated to dysarthria therapy comprising three 40-minute sessions per week for six weeks and their parents (n = 11) were interviewed two weeks before and six weeks after therapy. Interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically.

 

Results: Analysis revealed five themes: Motivations, My new voice; The new me; I can do more; Success rooted in therapy design. Children had received little therapy for speech and were keen to improve intelligibility. Overall, therapy was viewed as effective. Participants described changes in children’s speech production, which they associated with increased speech intelligibility. Children were described as more confident following the therapy, to have more successful conversations, with a wider range of partners in more environments, thereby increasing their social participation. The programme was viewed as acceptable, despite its intensity, due to the short term commitment and wider benefits for the child. Parents valued the organised structure and individualisation of the programme and inclusion in the therapy process.

 

Conclusion: Families found the intervention acceptable and effective. A definitive trial of its clinical effectiveness is warranted.

A Document Review of Exclusionary Practices in the Context of Australian School Education Policy

IACONO,Teresa
KEEFFE, Mary
KENNY, Amanda
MCKINSTRY, Carol
2019

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Internationally, there is a commitment to inclusive education for students with disability. In Australia, equality of access to mainstream schools is a key policy feature, with educational exclusion of children with disability being unlawful. In this review, the aim was to identify and analyze contemporary documents that point to failures in inclusive policy and legislation in Australia and the state of Victoria by demonstrating educational exclusion of school students with disability. A search of the gray literature was conducted to identify relevant documents from 2010 to 2017. Reference lists of retrieved documents were also searched for other sources. The review included 23 documents and findings demonstrated that the needs of children and families are often not met, with a disconnection evident between inclusive educational policy, legislation, and practices that exclude children with disability from mainstream education. Restrictive practices and gatekeeping act to dissuade families from enrolling children in mainstream education, with many seeking enrolment in special schools. However, concerns with special school practices, such as the use of restrictive interventions have been documented. Parents have resorted to homeschooling, with associated emotional and economic consequences. Tensions between schools and parents were evident, with parents not always having the opportunity to be fully involved in decision-making processes and planning. The key finding of this review was a clear gap between policy and legislative intentions and practices in schools. Lack of clarity on reasonable adjustments and an underpinning research evidence base to policy results in schools being left to develop their own practices. Strong leadership is needed from principals, and a whole of school commitment, to traverse policy practice gaps that continue to impact on the ability of children with disability to be well-supported in accessing mainstream schools.

Disability and nutrition programming: evidence and learning (Disability Inclusion Helpdesk Report No. 6)

HOLDEN, Jenny
CORBY, Nick
February 2019

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This document provides a rapid review of the evidence on approaches to ensuring people with disabilities are reached through nutrition programming, focusing on children, adolescents, and women of reproductive age in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). The purpose of this review is to support DFID advisers and partners designing and implementing programmes with nutrition components to ensure they are more inclusive of people with disabilities. After outlining the methodology in Section 2, Section 3 includes an overview of available evidence on what works to ensure nutrition programming reaches people with disabilities, as well as an assessment of the strength of the evidence, and highlighting key research gaps. Section 4 provides a summary on factors affecting access for people with disabilities, and Section 5 concludes by drawing a series of considerations for policy and programming to ensure that people with disabilities are not left behind when it comes to government-led and development partner-led programmes to tackle malnutrition. Case studies of approaches are included in annex 1 to give further insights on promising practices and key learnings

Sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment (SEAH) of people with disabilities: prevalence, incidence and severity, Disability Inclusion Helpdesk Research Report No. 4

FRASER, Erika
LEE, Harri
WAPLING, Lorraine
February 2019

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This rapid review addresses the queries:

  • What is known about the prevalence, incidence and severity of the sexual exploitation and abuse and sexual harassment of people with disabilities. This should take into account age and gender where possible, and humanitarian and conflict contexts. It would be good to know: - Globally and in specific regions, what evidence exists about the extent of sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment of people with disabilities (disaggregated by age and gender)?
  • What evidence exists about the extent of sexual exploitation, abuse and harassment of people with disabilities in the aid sector, including both recipients of aid and working in the aid sector (disaggregated by age and gender)?
  • What are the barriers to reporting for people with disabilities?
  • What is your assessment of the quality of the evidence? Where are the gaps?

Efficacy of a Low-cost Multidisciplinary Team-led Experiential Workshop for Public Health Midwives on Dysphagia Management for Children with Cerebral Palsy

HETTIARACHCHI , Shyamani
KITNASAMY, Gopi
MAHENDRAN, Raj
NIZAR, Fathima Shamra
BANDARA, Chamara
GOWRITHARAN, Paramaguru
2019

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Purpose: Over the past decade there has been a growing focus on offering appropriate training to healthcare professionals and caregivers to support safe feeding practices for children with cerebral palsy. Early and consistent multidisciplinary intervention is required to minimise the risks of aspiration pneumonia. The high incidence of complications from aspiration pneumonia among children with cerebral palsy in Sri Lanka has made it necessary to conduct low-cost multidisciplinary team-led dysphagia awareness workshops for healthcare professionals and caregivers.

 

Method: A group of 38 Public Health Midwives (PHMs) was offered an experiential workshop by a small multidisciplinary team (MDT). To determine changes in knowledge, a self-administered questionnaire that included a video-based client scenario was administered pre- and post-workshop. The data were analysed statistically using non-parametric within-participant t-tests.

 

Results: The post-workshop responses to the questionnaire indicated a significant increase in the level of knowledge. This included positive changes in the understanding and knowledge of cerebral palsy (t (37) =-7.44, p=.000), effects of cerebral palsy on eating and drinking skills (t (37) =-3.91, p=.000), positioning (t (37) = -9.85, p=.000), aspiration (t (37) =-3.46, p=.001), food categorisation (t (37), -3.85, p=.000) and client video observation (t (37)-3.91, p=.000) at a p=.05 level of significance. While there was also an increase in the knowledge on general guidelines during mealtimes, this did not reach statistical significance.

 

Conclusion: The low-cost MDT-led experiential workshop was effective in increasing knowledge of feeding and dysphagia-related issues in cerebral palsy among a group of PHMs. This workshop could serve as a model for training PHMs and Community-Health Workers across the country in order to reach the Sustainable Development Goal of ‘good health and well-being’ for children with cerebral palsy and all children experiencing feeding difficulties. Follow-up workshops and continued professional development courses for midwives on dysphagia care are strongly recommended, in addition to collaborative clinical practice.

Inclusion and standards achievement: the presence of pupils identified as having special needs as a moderating effect on the national mathematics standards achievements of their classmates

KRAMMER, Mathias
GASTEIGER-KLICPERA, Barbara
HOLZINGER, Andrea
WOHLHART, David
2019

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This article investigates the relationship between the achievement level of students in classes and the presence of students identified as having special needs in inclusive settings. In particular, it examines whether the presence of students with special educational needs in inclusive classrooms has an effect on the national mathematics standards achievement of their fellow students. In order to do so, the national standard scores of approximately 75,000 fourth graders in mathematics were used as dependent variable in multi-level regression modelling. As independent variables at class level the number of students with special needs and at the individual level socio-economic, cultural and ethnic background variables were used together with gender and age. Results show only a very small effect of the presence of students with special needs on the national mathematics standard scores of their classmates. The effect can be either positive or negative depending on further class conditions.

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