Causing trouble: the language of learning disability and challenging behaviour

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Purpose: This paper reviews two studies concerning referrals for challenging behaviour to community learning disability teams. The social constructionist approach to research taken by the studies is introduced.

Design/methodology/approach: The studies used critical discourse analysis and thematic analysis to analyse referral texts and interviews with referrers.

Findings: The studies found referral processes locating service problems within the bodies of persons with intellectual disabilities whilst constructing the actions of services as appropriate. This was in part achieved by employing the discourses of the total institutions. The referral process often served the purposes of the referring service.

Research limitations/implications: The research took place in a small geographical location across two learning disability teams.

Originality/value: The process of referring to CLDT’s and the language used in these referrals is an under researched area. This paper shows how the language and documents of services is a rich source of data. Services exist in a network and understanding how this network functions is important to understanding the function of referrals.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)144-149
Number of pages6
JournalTizard Learning Disability Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2016


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