The PMLD Ambiguity: Articulating the Life-Worlds of Children with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities

Ben R Simmons, Debbie L Watson

Research output: Book/ReportAuthored book

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Abstract

This book challenges the ways we experience, think about, and interact with children described as having profound and multiple learning disabilities (PMLD). Contrary to received wisdom, the book starts from the premise that traditional psychological approaches operating in the “PMLD field” are overly reductive and constrain our abilities to listen to and learn from children with PMLD. This in turn runs the risk of maintaining exclusionary practices such as segregated education, where such practices are predicated upon the notion that some children are too disabled to participate in mainstream life.

To address the situation the authors explore new terrain in three areas: theory, research and practice. The authors draw from phenomenological notions of embodied consciousness and introduce how this gives rise to novel ways of understanding the agency of children with PMLD. This critique leads to examination of interpersonal methodology as a means to access the experiences of children with PMLD, which in turn culminates in a research project examining how inclusive education could support learning for a young boy with PMLD. What becomes apparent through this story is that children with PMLD engage with the world in ways far more complex than existing approaches can take account of.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherKarnac Books
Number of pages272
ISBN (Print)978-1-78049-034-2
Publication statusPublished - May 2014

Keywords

  • PMLD
  • phenomenology
  • behaviourism
  • cognitivism

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