Tensions of Trans-institutionalization in Disabled Childhoods: A Photo Essay
This article describes how researchers from a longitudinal study of early childhood service systems generated a visual representation of transinstitutionalization that could facilitate dialogue for change with a variety of audiences. Comprised of seven portable banners, the photo essay that we constructed features snapshots of documents and/or material objects brought forward by mothers, grandmothers, fathers and foster parents in the course of research interviews. Working the theme of tensions in disabled childhoods, we assembled the collection to produce sharp contrasts between the generalizing effects that institutional involvement has on disabled children, and the particular lives that they live out at home with family members. Proceeding banner by banner, the article reveals the “thinking through” that we did to produce the photo essay, and our hopes for informing action on a systemic relation whereby parents are held responsible for producing ‘normal’ children.