The road to empowerment : facilitating the participation of parents of children with special needs in Malaysia : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy in Development Studies at Massey University
This study involves the design, development and evaluation of a parent training curriculum for parents of children with special needs in Malaysia. The objective of this programme was to empower parents through meaningful participation in the process of content identification, implementation and evaluation of the entire programme. The study was conducted at Bethany Home, a centre fcr children and adults with special needs, situated in a rural town of West Malaysia with an estimated population of 40,000 people mostly of a lower socio economic status. The study was prompted by a need for active parent participation. The researcher is a former director of the centre. The analysis of the data suggests that information sharing through participation is the road to empowerment for parents of children with special needs in a rural setting. As a result of the programme, teacher- parent interaction has improved and the setting up of a network for parents is imminent.