1 The Department of Psychology and Educational Studies, Roskilde University2 Subject, Technology and Social Practice, Department of People and Technology, Roskilde University3 Childhood, Youth and Family Life Research, Department of People and Technology, Roskilde University
This presentation rests on the empirical study in my PhD. project anchored in a Danish municipal institution for children labelled as having “special needs”. In the presentation I address the process of defining and supporting children’s “special needs” - a process of conflictual cooperation between professionals across different fields. Children participate in and across a lot of social practices, in which a number of different professionals are dealing with aspects of development, learning etc. The professional’s perspectives vary according to their different positions in the social practices (School, institutions family etc.). However the administrative bureaucracy’s call for unambiguous determination of “special needs” undermines the comprehension of plurality of professional perspectives. In this way a gap occurs between a multifaceted understanding of the child’s conduct of life and the production of the “child as a case”. I intend to explore the connections between bureaucratic, interdisciplinary and professional practices that are organised to support children, including the bureaucratic process of defining children’s “special needs”. In the process different professionals understand children’s difficulties in different ways according to their specific responsibility, professional interests and structural conditions of action. These are of importance to the way categories of “special needs” are being formed/defined. But when the professional’s different perspectives and their conflicts are being covered up by the unifying administrative processes, it seems to undermine an understanding of the way these conflicts are of importance to the child’s concrete conditions of life. So saying, a more precise comprehension of children’s actual difficulties involves the analysis of, how the process of defining “special needs” also depends on the way different professional’s cooperation is organized. The understanding of children’s difficulties and the implications of the understanding must be seen in relation to the bureaucratic structures and professional practices, that the children’s difficulties are being organised in.
profession; praksis; børn i vanskeligheder; specialundervisning