The lived experience of childhood play: Retrospective accounts as reported by adults who have been legally blind since they were children

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The purpose of this qualitative, retrospective, phenomenological study was to explore the lived experiences of childhood play as reported by 27 adults who have been legally blind since they were children. Both Family Systems and Sociocultural theories were used as a lens through which each participant’s unique experience could be viewed. A phenomenological approach allowed the researcher to capture the meaning each participant made of their experiences with childhood play. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the participants who agreed to undergo the study. All participants were adults who have been legally blind since childhood. Twenty-three interviews were digitally recorded and transcribed verbatim. Four interviewees submitted their responses via email. All data were analyzed for emergent themes. Three themes were extrapolated from the data: 1) Parental Attitude and Involvement, 2) Sibling Inclusion, and 3) Peer Isolation. Selected quotations from participants’ responses are included to illustrate the identified themes. A discussion of the results was provided, along with drawn conclusions, implications, and limitations of the research. Recommendations were made for marriage and family therapists, service providers, and for future research.

Blindness, Family, Play, Family Systems, Visual Impairment, Childhood Play, Social Skills, Lev Vygotsky, Murray Bowen