The family of the students with Down syndrome, just as in the case of any other child, is the main party responsible for their education, and the main socializing agent, as the family is in permanent contact with the student and knows about the characteristics of the child more than anyone. The aim of this study is to provide information on the educational response that regular Spanish schools offer to the students with Down Syndrome through the parent’s and the teacher’s perceptions.
Therefore, 218 questionnaires were provided to parents of children with Down syndrome, and 22 in-depth interviews to education professionals (regular teachers of students with Down syndrome).
The results indicated that the parents positively perceived the educational response offered by the schools to their children, however, although the schools shared the principles of inclusion, they differed on the manner that it was implemented, pointing to the lack of material and human resources. They also considered that the teacher’s training was appropriate.
In conclusion, that the families of students with Down syndrome had positive perceptions towards inclusive education of their children. However, although they shared the principles of inclusion, they disagree on the manner in which these were being implemented.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Arellano, A. & Peralta, F. (2013). Quality of life and self-determination in people with disabilities. Parent’s evaluation. Revista Iberoamericana de Educación, 63, 145–160.
Azorín, C. & Ainscow, M. (2018). Guiding schools on their journey towards inclusion. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 1–19. https://doi.org/10.1080/13603116.2018.1450900.
Brunner, J., & Elacqua, G. (2003). Informe Capital Humano en Chile [Human Capital Report in Chile]. Santiago: La Arauca.
Chaapel, H., Columna, L., Lytle, R., & Bailey, J. (2013). Parental expectations about adapted physical education services. The Journal of Special Education, 47(3), 186–196. https://doi.org/10.1177/0022466912447661.
Chiner, E., & Cardona, M. C. (2013). Inclusive education in Spain: how do skills, resources, and supports affect regular education teachers’ perceptions of inclusion? International Journal of Inclusive Education, 17(5), 526–541. https://doi.org/10.1080/13603116.2012.689864.
CRPD. (2017). Inquiry concerning Spain carried out by the Committee under article 6 of the Optional Protocol to the Convention. Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Cunningham, C., & Sloper, P. (1978). Helping Your Handicapped Baby. London: Souvenir Press.
De Boer, A., Pijl, S. P., & Minnaert, A. (2010). Attitudes of parents towards inclusive education: a review of the literature. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 25(2), 165–181. https://doi.org/10.1080/08856251003658694.
Defensor del Pueblo. (2017). Informe anual 2017 [Annual report 2017]. Madrid: Defensor del Pueblo. 1(2).
Dessen, M. A. (2009). Questionário de categorização do sistema familiar. In L. Weber & M. A. Dessen (Eds), Pesquisando a família: instrumentos para coleta e análise de dados (pp. 119–131). Curitiba: Juruá.
Díaz, L., Gil, A. & Moral, D. (2010). The experience of families living the intellectual disability. Educación y Futuro, 23, 81–98.
Domingo, J., Martos, M. A., & Domingo, L. (2010). Family-school partnership in Spain: challenges and realities. REXE. Revista de Estudios y Experiencias en Educación, 9(18), 111–133.
Elkins, J., Kraayenoord, C. E., & Jobling, A. (2003). Parents’ attitudes to inclusion of their children with special needs. Journal of Research in Special Educational Needs, 3(2), 122–129. https://doi.org/10.1111/1471-3802.00005.
Forlin, C., Kawai, N., & Higuchi, S. (2015). Educational reform in Japan towards inclusion: are we training teachers for success? International Journal of Inclusive Education, 19(3), 314–331. https://doi.org/10.1080/13603116.2014.930519.
Gaztelumendi, A. (2002). ¿Qué opinan las familias sobre la Integración Escolar de sus hijos/as? [What do the families think about the school integration of their children?]. Fundación Síndrome de Down del País Vasco, 11, 6–12.
Gómez Puerta, M., & Cardona, M. C. (2010). Parents’ perceptions of discrimination against their children because of intellectual disability. Educación y diversidad, 4(1), 73–88.
Jiménez Trens, M. A., Díaz Allué, M. T., & Carballo, R. (2006). Repuesta educativa a la diversidad desde la perspectiva del profesorado de la ESO: Estudio en la Comunidad Autónoma de la Rioja [Educational response to diversity from the perspective of ESO teachers: Study in the Autonomous Community of La Rioja]. Contextos Educativos, 8(9), 33–50.
Kalyanpur, M., & Harry, B. (2004). Impact of social construction of LD on culturally diverse families: a response to Reid and Valle. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 37(6), 530–533. https://doi.org/10.1177/00222194040370060801.
Keddie, A. (2015). School autonomy, accountability and collaboration: a critical review. Journal of Educational Administration and History, 47(1), 1–17. https://doi.org/10.1080/00220620.2015.974146.
Leal, E. (2006). Actitudes de los padres hacia la atención a la diversidad. Un estudio en la isla de Tenerife [Attitudes of parents towards attention to diversity. A study on the island of Tenerife]. Revista Qurriculum, 19, 211–220.
LOMCE. (2013). Ley Orgánica 8/2013, de 9 de diciembre, para la Mejora de la Calidad Educativa [Organic Law 8/2013, of December 9, for the Improvement of Educational Quality]. BOE de 10 de diciembre de. 2013.
Maeztu, B. (2006). Colaboración familia-escuela en diversidad [Family-school collaboration in diversity] 20, (59–80). Tavira: Revista de ciencias de la educación.
Mahoney, G., & Perales, F. (2012). El papel de los padres de niños con síndrome de Down y otras discapacidades en la atención temprana [The role of parents of children with Down syndrome and other disabilities in early care]. Revista Síndrome de Down, 29, 46–64.
Marôco, J., & Garcia-Marques, T. (2006). Qual a fiabilidade do alfa de Cronbach? Questões antigas e soluções modernas? [How reliable is Cronbach’s alpha? Old issues and modern solutions]. Laboratório de Psicología, 4(1), 65–90.
Mateos, G., Torrejón, M., Parra, M., & Pérez, Y. (2008). Necesidades de asesoramiento de acuerdo con padres y maestros de una escuela primaria [Counseling needs in agreement with parents and teachers of a primary school]. Revista Intercontinental de Psicología y Educación, 10(1), 63–74.
MEC. (2018). Datos y cifras curso 2017-2018 [Data and figures for the 2017–2018 academic year]. Madrid: Ministerio de Educación Cultura y Deporte.
Memisevic, H., & Hodzic, S. (2011). Teachers’ attitudes towards inclusion of students with Intellectual Disability in Bosnia and Herzegovina. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 15(7), 699–710.
Meza, C. L. (2010). Cultura escolar inclusiva en educación infantil: Percepciones de profesionales y padres [Inclusive school culture in early childhood education: Perceptions of professionals and parents]. España: Universidad de Salamanca. Tesis doctoral.
Nunes, C. C. (2006). Interação entre irmãos de indivíduos com deficiência mental: o papel da idade e do apoio social da família [Interaction among siblings of mentally disabled individuals: the role of age and social support of the family]. São Carlos: Dissertação de Mestrado. Programa de Pós-graduação em Psicologia, Universidade Federal de São Carlos.
Olsson, I., & Roll-Pettersson, L. (2012). No, no, you cannot say that! Percepcions and experiences of parents of preschool children with intellectual disabilities in Sweden. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 27(1), 69–80. https://doi.org/10.1080/08856257.2011.640486.
Paju, B., Räty, L., Pirttimaa, R., & Kontu, E. (2016). The school staff’s perception of their ability to teach special educational needs pupils in inclusive settings in Finland. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 20(8), 801–815. https://doi.org/10.1080/13603116.2015.1074731.
Pieterse, M., & Center, Y. (2009). The Integration of Eight Down’s Syndrome Children into Regular Schools. Australia and New Zealand Journal of Developmental Disabilities, 10(1), 11–20. https://doi.org/10.3109/13668258409018662.
Porras Vallejo, R. (2002). Ideas y actitudes educativas de profesores, padres y alumnos de los niveles de primariay secundaria en Cádiz. (Tesis Doctoral Inédita). Universidad de Sevilla, Sevilla.
Potter, C. (2016). ‘It’s the most important thing – I mean, the schooling’: father involvement in the education of children with autism. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 31(4), 489–505. https://doi.org/10.1080/08856257.2016.1194573.
Rodrigues, E., Alchieri, J. C., & Coutinho, M. (2010). Affectivity of children and young people with Down Syndrome: a study about parents and teachers perception. Revista CES Psicología, 3(2), 79–98.
Ruiz, E. (2011). We have so much to learn: What people with Down syndrome teach us. Revista de Síndrome de Down, 28, 130–138.
Runswick-Cole, K. (2008). Between a rock and a hard place: parents’ attitudes to the inclusion of children with special educational needs in mainstream and special schools. British Journal of Special Education, 35(3), 173–180.
Soto, A. (2000). Integración en Educación Secundaria Obligatoria en la provincia de Huelva. Valoración de ideas y actitudes de profesores, alumnos y padres [Integration in Compulsory Secondary Education in the province of Huelva. Assessment of ideas and attitudes of teachers, students and parents]. Doctoral thesis, University of Seville, Spain.
Stine-Dolva, A., Gustavsson, A., Borell, L., & Hemmingsson, H. (2011). Facilitating peer interaction—support to children with Down syndrome in mainstream schools. European Journal of Special Needs Education, 26(2), 201–213.
UNESCO. (2004). Open file on inclusive education: support materials for managers and administrators. Santiago de Chile: OREALC.
Valenzuela, B. A., Guillén, M., & Campa, R. (2014). Recursos para la inclusión educativa en el contexto de educación primaria [Resources for educational inclusion in the context of primary education]. Infancias Imágenes, 13(2), 64–75.
This research was financed by the Spanish Ministry of Economics and Competitiveness within the State Plan for the Fomenting of Scientific and Technical Research of Excellence 2013–2016 (DIFOTICYD EDU2016 75232-P).
J.M.F.B.: He wrote the article, designed and executed the study, and analyzed the data. A.M.B.J: She wrote the article, designed and executed the study, and analyzed the data. M.M.R.: She wrote the article, designed and executed the study, and analyzed the data. I.G.M.: She wrote the article, designed and executed the study, and analyzed the data.
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
The data described in this article contains no personal, or personally identifiable information and are not accessible to other researchers as per written agreement with participants and ethical approval. The findings reported in the manuscript are original and have not been published previously. In addition, the manuscript is not being simultaneously submitted elsewhere. Prior to conducting the study, University of Seville approved the research protocol for the study.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
About this article
Cite this article
Fernández Batanero, J.M., Benítez Jaén, A.M., Montenegro Rueda, M. et al. Do Regular Schools in Spain Respond to the Educational Needs of Students with Down Syndrome?. J Child Fam Stud 29, 2355–2363 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10826-019-01587-2
- Down syndrome
- Parent Teacher Cooperation