“The things that are inside of you are horrible”: Children and young men with Duchenne muscular dystrophy talk about the physical and psychological impact of living with a long term condition

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an inherited, progressive and life-limiting neuromuscular disease that affects boys. During their lives, they experience a series of medical and surgical interventions. Research reported in this paper took place in England with 37 young men living with DMD and their families and explored their experiences of growing up, school, work, friends and family. In accordance with the social model of disability, this research was initially reluctant to dwell on the physiological aspects of living with a long-term, degenerative condition. We focused on social model concerns about the disabling barriers to the participants’ participation in society, the disabling responses of professionals and barriers to achieving their aspirations. However, young people with DMD also wanted to talk about how living with the condition caused them considerable pain and discomfort. They also explained the emotional impact of medical and surgical interventions. They reported very few
opportunities to discuss these matters with family members or professionals. We explore possible reasons for the absence of discussion about these issues and reflect on the consequences for both the young person and their family. We suggest that a reluctance to tackle the thorny issue of “body” and “impairment” in social science research with disabled children and young people means that important aspects of childhood disability are under-explored.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-77
Number of pages11
JournalChild Care in Practice
Volume21
Issue number1
Early online date20 Nov 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Disabled Children and Young People; Physical and Emotional Impact; Social Model of Disability; Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

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