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Discoursing challenging behaviour: an analysis of referral documents sent to a community learning disability team

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Aims: Community Learning Disability Teams (CLDT) play an important role in enabling the social inclusion of persons with intellectual disabilities. Challenging behaviours (CB) constitute a major reason for referral to CLDT. This study aims to deconstruct the cultural discourses that writers of referral texts to a CLDT use about men and people with intellectual disabilities and challenging CB. Method: Referrals, made during an 18 months period, to a CLDT that are concerned with CB were analysed from the perspective of critical discourse analysis and narrative analysis. Results: The analysis interpretation is on-going and to date the following discourses appear significant: 1. The referral form serves to privilege certain discourses of services and persons with intellectual disabilities. 2. The person subjected to referral is denigrated. 3. The illusion of Person Centeredness. 4. Choice and Consent as sources of problems. 5. The unreason of the client versus the reasonableness of carers. Conclusion: CLDTs and the people who write referral request need to reconsider many taken for granted elements of the CLDT and its processes as these many not be in the best interests of people with intellectual disabilities and the goals of Person Centred Planning and ‘Valuing People’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)784
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Intellectual Disability Research
Issue number8-9
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008

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