Fratrie et handicap (trisomie 21 versus autisme) : les représentations dans la littérature jeunesse

Abstract : This study focuses on the representations, in children's literature, of the relationship between children with Down syndrome and autism and their siblings and compared them with the conclusions drawn from the scientific literature on sibling relationships when faced with the issue of disability, which shows the differential impact of the two disabilities on the construction of such relationships. Children’s literature is worth studying because, when books written for young children deal with such difficult issues as disability, they offer situations and possible reactions matching cultural norms and representations. In that way, they can promote dialogue, in particular with the siblings of the child with a disability, and thus fulfill an educational function. Within this context, a content analysis of 24 books for children aged from three to 12 years old, 12 for each type of disability, has been conducted. Results indicate that the books allow the expression of suffering and of a conflictual relationship with the child with a disability. However, whereas for siblings of children with Down syndrome empathy and affective gratification make bonding possible, the rejection and indifference felt by the siblings of children with autism can prevent the construction of sibling relationships. Siblings of children with autism have to deal both with their parents’ instruction to act responsibly and with the necessity to give unconditional understanding, which is perceived as unfair. It therefore appears that analyzed books can be useful for siblings of children with a disability and for a potential educational follow-up, but they rarely offer glimpses into the future.
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Journal articles
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Submitted on : Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 3:13:08 PM
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Lise Lemoine, Marie-Claude Mietkiewicz, Benoit Schneider. Fratrie et handicap (trisomie 21 versus autisme) : les représentations dans la littérature jeunesse. Revue Francophone de la Déficience Intellectuelle, Revue francophone de la déficience intellectuelle, 2016, 27, pp.116-126. ⟨10.7202/1043130ar⟩. ⟨hal-01713392⟩

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