There are limited studies involving young children with Down syndrome, aged between two and four years, with developmental difficulties. These children have a double-disadvantage when it comes to being included in research because not only are they young, they also have complex difficulties However, they have the rights to express their views. This study aims to gain an understanding of the experiences they have when engaging and participating in a group intervention.
This research used a multiple qualitative case study approach, as the aim is to describe and understand but not to make any generalizations (Willig, 2013; Roberts-Holmes, 2014). Case study research depends on many different sources of evidence, with the data collected converging in a triangulating fashion (David, 2006).
Three children, who were three years old with Down syndrome, and their parents took part in the study. The main areas of data collection included structured observations of the children in their intervention group and in their homes and interviews with their parents, both of which will be audio recorded for transcription purposes. A thematic analysis approach was used to analyse the data collected. This will involve a systematic approach for identifying, analyzing and reporting themes across a dataset using a six-phase process (Braun & Clarke, 2012).
Seeing the child at home and in the group allows for the exploration of participation in multiple contexts and by including the child and their primary carer allows for inclusion of multiple perspectives. Data collection and analysis is currently underway and will be completed by March 2018.
This research will support our understanding about the participation of children with DS through the exploration of the constructs of attendance and involvement in a group intervention.