Creating relevant and supportive developmental conditions for children and youth with disabilities

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This article aims to conceptualize how young people with severe disabilities can be supported in their development as social participants. Hedegaard assigned a pivotal role to the concepts of value positions, demands and motives in her wholeness approach. This conceptual approach guides the analysis of a study of young people with severe disability and highlights how parents develop their motives from the societal value position of inclusion and the general aim ‘to give their child the opportunity to realise his or her potentials’. The concept of moral imagination is used to explore the interrelation between imagination – what ought to be - and development of motives that lead parents and professionals to envision possibilities in the other person and direct their activity. Moral imaginations were shaped by societal offers, trajectories and technologies in different activity settings, but at times breaking with them and creating wholly new opportunities, thus illustrating another point of Hedegaard: How persons can impact on and reshape their activity settings. Relevant and supportive developmental conditions for children and young people with severe disabilities require partners willing to engage in mutual imagining of how the future ought to be and role-modelling how they can make active and socially oriented demands in their social settings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100228
JournalLearning, Culture and Social Interaction
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

    Research areas

  • Cerebral palsy, Disability, Future possibilities, Moral imagination, Motives, Parental perspective

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