This thesis would not exist without the parents and practitioners who agreed to share their stories with me – a heartfelt thanks to each of you for risking your story with me!
I also want to thank the many people who have accompanied me on different parts of the journey:
Judith Good and Susie Scott who have helped me to play by the rules – thank you for your patience and persistence and for keeping me on track;
Lou McGill, my critical friend;
Friends and colleagues at the University of Sussex, too numerous to mention by name, but the folk who have met for breakfast, or coffee, or cream tea;
The network of research students who inhabit Twitter and #phdchat, the folk who have so often picked me up and supported me when I’ve threatened to jump ship;
My colleagues at The Open University, some of whom commented on initial drafts and diagrams, and my managers who supported my application for financial support.
And most of all thanks to my husband, friend, confidant and proof reader – thank you Gordon for putting up with all the mood swings – and to my son, who because of who he is, got me involved in the special needs domain.
A PhD was never part of my life plan – they were for ‘clever’ people. A chance encounter and a foolish question started me on this journey. Thinking back, the journey didn’t start there, but much further back with other chance encounters and people who believed in me, in particular Colin Archer, my manager, mentor and friend for many years when I was a young social worker, but also other friends and colleagues who have share part of my life journey with me, the names of whom are now lost in the mists of time.
Contributor: Liz Thackray
Source: Thackray L (2013) The Meanings of the ’Struggle/Fight Metaphor’ in the Special Needs Domain: The experiences of practitioners and parents of children with high functioning autism spectrum conditions, PhD, University of Sussex