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Preparation for transition from early years intervention to primary school for children with cerebral palsy in Singapore: Exploring the voices and experiences of parents, children and early years professionals

31 January 2020

Author: Heung Ching Chu (UCL Institute of Education)

There is currently a gap in the literature exploring parents’ lived experiences of transition to primary school for their child with cerebral palsy (CP).

This gap is evidenced by the systematic review of the literature conducted in this paper.

Studies have shown that transition has a long-term impact on children’s future development and learning.

The present qualitative study aimed to fill the gap in literature on exploring the views of children with CP and of their parents in preparation for transition from the Early Intervention Programme for Infants and Children (EIPIC) to a national primary school in Singapore.

The lived experiences of parents were explored using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Children’s views were gathered using an adapted Mosaic approach and views of EIPIC professionals were gathered in a focus group discussion (FGD).

The FGD was analysed using thematic analysis, as guided by Braun and Clarke (2006). The inclusion of children, parents and professionals in this study enabled a triangulation in data and provided a multi-faceted overview of experiences regarding the preparation for transition to primary school.

Five Master Themes emerged: In general, children with CP focused on play and social interaction while experiencing difficulties with communicating their views and needs.

Parents of these children encountered a wide range of emotions during the preparation for school transition due to managing competing demands while seeking transition resources.

Professionals in EIPIC had various roles in supporting children with CP for school transition and differentiated their approaches when working with different schools.

The findings from the present study are particularly useful to professionals in supporting the preparation for school transition of children with CP and their parents.

This study provides a starting point for future research in the area of parental support in school transition for children with CP and participatory methods in Singapore.


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