South Korea

In 2014, Sangwon Yoon carried out an ICDP project on the Juju island, in cooperation with the Jeju Parents’ Network for People with Disabilities (JPNPD).  

Jeju Parents’ Network for People with Disabilities (JPNPD) recruited the worksop participants from their own network. In addition, they  provided funding and also premises where the ICDP meetings with parents took place.

For this project Sangwon translated some of the ICDP materials from English to Korean, such as the ‘Introduction of ICDP’ by Karsten Hundeide, the ‘ICDP leaflet’ amd  ‘I am a person’, the ICDP booklet by Karsten Hundeide and Nicoletta Armstrong, which contains the 8 guidelines for good interaction with exercises and home tasks for parents. At the end of the project the participants received a poster with the photos and captions for the 8 guidelines.

Sangwon explains:

” This project participants are parents whose children have developmental disabilities; such parents usually feel a degree of frustration in communicating with their own children. This is because children with developmental disabilities, especially autism, tend to prefer to communicate in other ways, such as music, drawing, body, or written language.

Moreover, parents sometimes underestimate their children and their capacity for communication with others, and this is often strengthened by stigma in society; the inner resources for caring and positive communication with children can be severely hindered due to prejudices.

In this project, my task was not to act as an instructor or lecturer  teaching participants theoretical knowledge or behavior strategies for positive communication, but as a facilitator or mediator helping participants to construct individually and collectively a positive conceptions of their child and develop positive communication cycles with their children; they can best do this by building on their own experience and shared personal stories.

At group meetings I used certain methods to enable the participants to construct and reconstruct their knowledge and experience by themselves autonomously, not through lectures. For example, participants held group discussions,  shared information and experiences, engaged in analyzing video demonstrations, applied self-assessment and observation exercises, including home tasks and role play. On the other hand, I was a sincere listener and trustful respondent supporting participants in their own processes of reflection and exchange of communicative experience, especially by focusing on their existing positive experience. This is in line with the fact that all human beings have their own resources to actualize their lives toward a more positive direction; most parents can convert challenges towards a positive direction by themselves, once they face their own needs and apply their inner-resources to solve the challenges. Dealing with challenges by oneself leads to a feeling of well-being. Thus, the most important role of a facilitator is to make an emotionally safe haven for caregivers to talk about their own needs and to find their own inner-resources.”