Valuing difference: caregiving by mothers of children with disabilities

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Mothers who are caregivers of children with disabilities seek to have their children accepted and valued by others in society. This is supported by many reports of studies from different countries that involved mothers of children with disabilities, as well as through publications by disability advocates. In this paper, qualitative research data from interviews with seven mothers of children with disabilities were reanalysed using Bourdieu's theory of practice and van Manen's phenomenological methodology. The results showed that these mothers, who were caregivers of children with disabilities, valued their children despite ongoing challenges, and wanted others to do likewise. This study supports the importance of valuing difference in terms of the insights and understanding gained from those with disabilities and their caregivers. It would be difficult to replicate it exactly; its relevance lies in demonstrating that valuable insights can be gained from extending reflective practice to research that involves re-examining a study from a different theoretical perspective. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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