Research on Positive Indicators for Teacher–Child Relationship in Children with Intellectual Disabilities

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Teacher–child relationships (TCRs) are important factors in socio-emotional development and academic and behavioural outcomes. In Japan, occupational therapists (OTs) work with teachers and children with intellectual disabilities (ID) in school environment considering TCRs. This study aimed to identify positive indicators in TCRs among children with ID. We conducted interviews with 23 Japanese preschool teachers working with children with ID in child development support centres (CDSCs) and used the Delphi method to evaluate and select positive indicators. We obtained 49 positive indicators belonging to 15 conceptual indicators related to TCRs. The indicators that reached a high degree of agreement and consensus seems to be related to more fundamental social interaction aspects. These indicators could be used to enhance collaboration between OTs and teachers in the school environment, including CDSCs. We could not examine differences of positive social aspects depending on diagnostic features. It will be important for future work to examine differences in positive social aspects among children with other diagnostic features. Our findings could contribute to the development of an assessment tool to evaluate positive aspects of teacher–child interactions and their progress. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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