In October 2020 I began my studies with the Faculty of Health, Social, Care & Education at Kingston University & St George's, University of London, but the PhD story actually started in February 2020. Yes, that time shortly before all of our lives changed due to the pandemic.
I was enjoying a half-term trip to Spain. Soaking up the Andalusian sun and delighting in the gorgeous food and drink. A quick look at Twitter revealed a post that I had been tagged into about studying for a PhD in the field of Intellectual disabilities and death. Someone thought I might be interested. My initial reaction was to scoff and think - a PhD, I'd never be able to do that.
The next day I returned to the tweet and followed the link giving more information about the opportunity. My interest started to grow…..especially when I remembered what I had written in my Churchill Fellowship Report in 2018 - that there is a lack of research into the needs of bereaved children with special educational needs and disabilities. As I looked at the application criteria I swung between thinking ‘I can’t do this’ and ‘maybe, I could do this?’
But ultimately I was left with the 2 thoughts:
When I returned home from Spain I did further investigation about the university, the faculty and the PhD programme and of course by this point I wanted it! I began putting my application and research proposal together.
I’ll summarise the following months:
I’m now 6 months into my first year and my literature review is going really well and I’m loving every moment of this new and very different experience.
My literature review question is -
How do children with severe learning disabilities and profound and multiple learning disabilities communicate grief?
I’d love to hear from you if you have any thoughts or experiences on this topic. Please do get in touch.
And keep an eye on this page to find out more about my studies.
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