The Families of Special Needs Children from the Perspective of Vulnerability

  • Darja Plavčak National Education Institute of Slovenia, Slovenia
Keywords: vulnerability reduction approaches, families with children with special needs, vulnerability


Difficult life circumstances can make anyone vulnerable. For example, families of children with special needs are at risk, as are families facing other stressful circumstances, such as poverty or parental mental illness.
This article builds on previous action research by Plavčak (2020) and introduces a new research problem. We conducted a qualitative analysis of action diary data to answer two new research questions: 1) In what forms did vulnerability appear in students’ families, and 2) What approaches did professionals use to reduce perceived vulnerability? Our findings suggest that families of children with special needs should be approached with sensitivity, flexibility, and balanced interventions. It is important to understand families in the context of their lives, including the emotional stages of caring for a child with special needs and other difficult circumstances they may face. Interventions should be tailored to the specific needs of families and developed collaboratively with them.


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