Nag, Heidi, Klara Øverland, & Terje Nærland (2020, June). School staff’s experiences and coping related to the challenging behaviour of children with Smith-Magenis syndrome in schools: A Q methodological study. International Journal of Disability, Development and Education. ePub in advance of print (doi: 10.1080/1034912X.2020.1780199) (Link: 10.1080/1034912X.2020.1780199) (Open Access: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1034912X.2020.1780199)

Abstract: The aim of this study is to use Q methodology to explore how school staff experience the behaviours of children with Smith-Magenis Syndrome (SMS) in school and how they manage working with these children. Q methodology utilises by-person factor analysis to investigate subjectivity. Fourteen school staff of students with SMS in Norway participated and sorted 40 statements according to their own experience working with a student with SMS. Two distinct viewpoints were revealed, namely, 1) Managing challenging aggressive and self-injury behaviours in school where school staff experienced a range of challenging behaviours, especially aggressive behaviours. 2) Struggling with intense non-physical challenging behaviours in school where school staff experienced behaviours such as the students being very intense, craving attention and pushing buttons. In conclusion, there must be a greater emphasis on education and advising and supporting school staff’s work with the non-physical challenging behaviours aspects of teaching children with SMS, as well as a continued focus on challenging aggressive behaviours.

Heidi Nag <hel@frambu.no> is with the Frambu Resource Center for Rare Disorders, Sandbakkveien; and the Centre for Learning Environment, University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway.

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