The experiences of parents of children with reading difficulties

Du Plessis, Annette (2012-12)

Thesis (MEdPsych)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Includes bibliography

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: According to the results of the Annual National Assessment (ANA) of 2011 in South African schools, approximately 53% of learners in grade 3 and 70% of learners in grade 6 did not reach a partially achieved level of reading. As a result of the reading difficulties, these learners have varying degrees of learning and behavioural difficulties and also experience psychological and emotional challenges. This figure indicates that a high number of people are parenting a child identified as having reading difficulties. Bronfenbrenner’s theory of the ecology of human development indicated the importance of interconnections between school, home, and community settings in order to foster children’s learning. Parents may be better supported and empowered to assist their child by collaboration among teachers and families. This collaboration may be strengthened by utilising knowledge gained from parents’ lived experiences of parenting a child identified as having reading difficulties. The primary research question guiding this phenomenological study involved understanding the experiences of parents with children identified as having reading difficulties. The study’s research methodology can be described as basic qualitative research which is embedded within an interpretive paradigm. Purposive sampling was used to select three parents as research participants. Three methods of data collection were employed, namely written reflective notes, structured individual interviews and observations. Furthermore, qualitative content analysis was used to analyse the data. The analysis revealed that four interconnected contexts emerged concerning parents’ lived experiences, namely their relationship with their identified child, their relationships with other family members, their interactions with teachers and the child’s school, and their perception of social support in raising their child. The study found that parents experienced a variety of dismaying emotions regarding their child’s reading difficulties and that parents adopted roles such as caretaker, motivator and advocate in order to obtain the intervention and educational services needed for their child. The findings of this study inform and encourage educators and other support personnel to support parents and promote collaboration with parents of children identified as having reading difficulties, potentially enabling those parents to better support their identified child.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Na aanleiding van die uitslae van die Jaarlikse Nasionale Assessering (ANA) van 2011 in Suid- Afrikaanse skole, het ongeveer 53% van leerders in graad 3 en 70% van leerders in graad 6 nie ‘n gedeeltelik bereikte vlak van lees behaal nie. As gevolg van die struikelblokke met lees, ervaar hierdie leerders verskeie grade van leer- en gedragsuitdagings, asook sielkundige en emosionele uitdagings. Hierdie syfers dui aan dat ‘n beduidende hoeveelheid mense in die rol staan van die ouer van ‘n kind met leesstruikelblokke. Bronfenbrenner se teorie van die ekologie van menslike ontwikkeling dui op die belangrikheid van interkonneksies tussen die leerder se skool, tuiste en die konteks van sy gemeenskap vir die bevordering van leer. Ouers kan moontlik meer effektief ondersteun en bemagtig word om hul kind meer effektief te ondersteun, indien ‘n medewerking tussen ouers en onderwysers bewerkstellig kan word. Hierdie medewerking kan versterk word deur kennis aan te wend aangaande ouers se ervaringe in hul rol as die ouer van ‘n kind met leesstruikelblokke. Die navorsingsvraag wat hierdie fenomenologiese studie lei, handel oor ’n begrip van die ervaringe van ouers van kinders wat met leesstruikelblokke geïdentifiseer is. Die navorsingsmetodologie wat in hierdie studie gebruik is, kan beskryf word as basiese kwalitatiewe navorsing binne ’n interpretivistiese paradigma. ’n Doelgerigte steekproef is gebruik om drie ouers as deelnemers te identifiseer. Drie metodes van data insameling is gebruik, naamlik geskrewe, reflektiewe notas; gestruktureerde, individuele onderhoude en waarnemings. Verder is kwalitatiewe inhoudsanalise gebruik om die data te analiseer. Die data analise het aan die lig gebring dat vier kontekste wat telkens met mekaar verband hou, na vore gekom het rakende ouers se ervaringe as die ouer van ‘n kind met leesstruikelblokke, naamlik die ouers se verhouding met hul kind, die ouers se verhoudinge met ander lede van die gesin, die ouers se interaksies met die kind se onderwysers en skool asook die ouers se persepsie van die sosiale ondersteuning wat hulle ontvang in hul rol as ouers. Die bevindinge van hierdie studie het aangetoon dat ouers verskeie ontmoedigende emosies ervaar rakende hul kind se leesstruikelblokke en dat ouers in die rol van versorger, motiveerder en advokaat optree om sodoende die nodige intervensie en opvoedkundige dienste wat hul kind benodig, te bekom. Die bevindinge het ten doel om opvoeders en ander ondersteuningspersoneel in te lig en aan te moedig om ouers te ondersteun en medewerking tussen opvoeders en ouers van kinders met leesstruikelblokke te bevorder. Sodanige medewerking kan ouers in staat stel om hul kinders meer effektief te ondersteun.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/71698
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