A kaleidoscope of well-being to authentically represent the voices of children and young people with complex cerebral palsy: a case study series

Dawn M. Pickering*, Paul Gill, Carly Reagon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: This paper authentically represents the voices of non-verbal children with cerebral palsy using a case study design. Policy suggests that children should have the right to play and leisure opportunities, however non-verbal children with cerebral palsy have fewer choices. Additionally, children with communication, learning and mobility limitations are usually excluded from research. The aim of this research was to capture the voices of non-verbal children by exploring their well-being impact in terms of their experiences and choices about their level of participation in recreational activities. Methods: A qualitative case series study included interviews, observations, photographs and diaries. Where possible, the diaries were completed by both caregivers and children. Data were analysed thematically, and the lens of positioning theory applied. Results: Seven children aged nine to sixteen years participated. The findings showed how equipment, people and environments enabled or hindered the children’s participation. The children also advocated as champions for their own well-being. Positioning theory was applied across the data and was adapted offering a way to better understand the children’s well-being responses. Conclusion: The findings demonstrate how these children were able to self-advocate, demonstrating their well-being by their intentional behaviours from their level of participation in a recreational activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1339-1353
Number of pages15
JournalDisability and Rehabilitation
Issue number7
Early online date26 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2024

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