Research facilitated by Waverley
Waverley has been honoured to assist researchers in gathering evidence for papers. Please see attached summaries
Executive Summary: Play based learning by Charlotte Millward and Laura Osman
The Invisible Dandelions: Resilience in Siblings of Children with Severe or Profound Learning Disabilities by Jordan Andrew
This is the first project in the UK to use a new and innovative research design called 'Photo-Novella' (also known as PhotoVoice/Photo-Elicitation) to explore the experiences of siblings of disabled children. The title, 'The Invisible Dandelions,' champions siblings of disabled children as symbolic reflections of resilient dandelions. We experience neglect, inferiority, and social exclusion but still thrive, emerging through the cracks of pavements and blossoming psychologically, intellectually, and physically. Our resilience is 'invisible' due to the paucity of research, professional care and awareness of our experiences.
Twelve children and young people (CYP), aged 10-25, took photographs illustrating the struggles and coping mechanisms associated with having a disabled sibling, guiding discussion in interviews. The participants expressed frustration towards cross-cultural public discrimination, parental neglect and self-sacrifice while being young carers, making them feel disabled by association. They found solace in familial closeness, but external social support was limited. Participants felt troubled by concerns about their sibling's fate, which, if confronted, triggered a dark spiral of catastrophic thinking. However, utilising positive and sometimes maladaptive coping strategies, participants managed distress by reassuring everyone, including themselves, that ‘everything is fine.’ The dandelions criticised their schools for overlooking their adversities and local governments for the scarcity of young carer support groups encouraging them to express their feelings. They advocated for more local young carer networks, extended homework deadlines, and a sibling-focused strand of special educational needs services.