Parents' experiences of support: co-constructing their stories

Georgina Sarah Sherwood, Melanie A. Nind

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    The aim of this paper is to present a way of supporting parents that can lead to positive outcomes for families. The findings and processes from a study in England of six parents' experiences of support services for their young children with special needs are discussed in making the case that co-constructing the stories of parent and researcher experiences can become a valuable conduit for improving support. An ethnographic case study approach with narrative analysis was used, and this paper shows how the parents' narratives, interwoven with the reflections of the researcher/early years professional, suggest engaged listening as a way forward for professionals and parents (as well as researchers) to understand each other. Stories that each party is fearful of telling or hearing illustrate the balance of fragility and resilience in their assumptions and relationships.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)457-470
    Number of pages14
    JournalInternational Journal of Early Years Education
    Issue number4
    Early online date5 Nov 2014
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2014


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