Bristol Conversations in Education - Transculturalism in parents’ experiences of caring for an autistic child

14 December 2021, 1.00 PM - 14 December 2021, 2.00 PM

Dr Diana Seach (Autism education and family consultant, former Principal Lecturer in Special Education, University of Chichester)

This is an online event - please register and read through confirmation email for details of how to attend

This event is part of the School of Education's Bristol Conversations in Education research seminar series. These seminars are free and open to the public.

Hosted by the Centre for Psychological Approaches for Studying Education (PASE)

Speaker: Dr Diana Seach (Autism education and family consultant, former Principal Lecturer in Special Education, University of Chichester)

Diana will share her doctoral research which sought to address the under-representation of minority ethnic families in autism research. Combining transculturalism with a narrative interview approach made it possible to pay attention to the ways in which parents are drawing on multiple cultural influences in response to having an autistic child. Using a transcultural approach showed how parents’ lives are transformed when they have an autistic child, how they develop multiple identities in their interactions with professionals and family members across different social and cultural contexts and the impact this has on their sense of belonging to the community and networks of support. A thematic analysis of the parents’ transcultural experiences, showed that there were commonalities in their experiences of parenting an autistic child as well as distinct and relevant cultural values and resources which influenced their individual responses to having an autistic child. The findings from this research supported the development of a transcultural model of culturally-informed pedagogical practice that will be of value to professionals working in autism education.

Dr Diana Seach worked as Principal Lecturer in Special Education, University of Chichester specialising in autism education and disability studies. She is a published author of books on autism education and interactive play for children with autism. Her recent research interests have focused on transculturalism in the lived experiences of minority ethnic families who have an autistic child and the intersection of autism and bilingualism. Prior to a career in higher education she was an international consultant in autism, training professionals and working with families in Australia, the Middle East, New Zealand and Nigeria to develop communication and interaction through play. She continues to promote the need for culture and ethnicity to be addressed in research on autism and special education and to encourage teachers to think about how they work with autistic children and their families with the social and cultural realities that are an essential aspect of their transcultural lives.


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