Stories about Children with Disabilities: The Writing Process and the Opinions of the Storywriters

Sezgin VURAN
Dr. Anadolu University.


Problem Statement: Successful inclusion is established through understanding and respecting differences among individuals. This study emerged from the idea that books play an important role in this understanding and from the lack of published children’s books about disabilities. Although, stories are very important in any educational curriculum, there are no example stories including children with disabilities in Turkish children’s literature (C’sL).

Purpose of Study: The purpose of this research is to examine the opinions of pre-service teachers about their experiences during the storybook writing process.

Methods: This qualitative study was conducted in two phases. The first phase focused on how stories about successful inclusion situations in the community were developed by college students. In the second phase the experiences of the storywriters were examined through the use of semistructured interviews. The data were analyzed inductively.

Findings and Results: The outcomes of the interviews revealed that the story writers gained positive experiences, and the writing process contributed to their individual and career development. The interviews further showed that the stories would increase the social acceptance of children with disabilities.

Conclusions and Recommendations: Attitudes, opinions, expectations, feelings and thoughts can be changed by reading storybooks about children with disabilities in Turkey. These changes are based on greater familiarization of special education, the development of positive intentions toward individuals with disabilities (ID), and the encouragement of positive interactive relationships among children of different abilities. This could help the society improve their view of what professional practice could be by developing insights to explore alternative ways of looking at practices and providing access to storybooks about integrated early childhood and primary literacy experiences.

Keywords: Stories for children, children with disabilities, inclusion, storybook writing process.