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Participation, supports, and barriers of Korean children and youth with and without disabilities in the school environment.

ABSTRACT

This study compared participation patterns of Korean children with and without disabilities at school and examined perceived environmental supports and barriers to their school participation. One hundred eighty four parents of Korean children, aged 5 to 13 years, with and without disabilities completed the Korean Participation and Environment Measure for Children and Youth. The item-level scores of Korean Participation and Environment Measure for Children and Youth were compared between children with and without disabilities using Analysis of covariance and Pearson chi-square tests. In comparison with typically developing children, children with disabilities were less frequently participated and involved and their parents were more likely to desire the change of children's participation in all school activities. Parents of children with disabilities reported that child's physical, cognitive, and social demands, relationship with peers, programs and services, policies and procedures, and money are environmental barriers and personal and public transportation are environmental supports to school participation. Findings help to better understand school participation patterns of Korean children with disabilities and environmental supports and barriers to their participation. The knowledge can be used to support collaboration among school-related professionals for successful participation of children with disabilities at school. Implications for rehabilitation Parents of children with disabilities need to focus on both how many times their children participate in school activities and how they get involved in those activities. Educators and therapists should consider in which types of change in school participation parents of children with disabilities are interested to select target activities and to modify them for successful school participation. Educators, therapists, and parents of children with disabilities should analyze the poor fits between functional limitation of children with disabilities and the physical, cognitive, and social demands of school activities for successful school participation. Using information about school participation patterns and environmental supports/barriers can support to better understand children with disabilities and strengthen partnerships among educators, therapists, and parents of children with disabilities for successful inclusion into school contexts.