Parents’ perspectives on managing risk in play for children with developmental disabilities
journal contributionposted on 2023-08-30, 18:00 authored by Samantha Stillianesis, Grace Spencer, Michelle Villeneuve, Julia Sternam, Anita Bundy, Shirley Wyver, Paul Tranter, Geraldine Naughton, Jo Ragen, Kassia Beetham
Parents are often concerned about managing risks for their children, particularly in the context of disability. This paper reports qualitative findings from an intervention study and examines how parents of children with developmental disabilities (mainly autism) manage risks during play. Interviews (n = 17) highlighted parents’ fears about their child’s safety, which were often exacerbated by concerns about the child’s (lack of) cognitive and intellectual capabilities to ‘appropriately’ negotiate harms. Outdoor play and play that involved other children were reported as particularly challenging. In these contexts, parents described how they would intervene and redirect play activities to avoid any emergent physical, emotional and social harms. The social aspects of risk and disability gave way to adult-mediated and controlled forms of play. We conclude by considering opportunities to support the full inclusion of children with disabilities and their rights to play.
Publication titleDisability and Society
PublisherTaylor & Francis
- Accepted version