Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 7

Search results for: Shyamani Hettiarachchi

7 Intertwined Lives: Narratives of Children with Disabilities and Their Siblings

Authors: Shyamani Hettiarachchi

Abstract:

The experiences of children with disabilities and their siblings are seldom documented in Sri Lanka. The aim of this study was to uncover the narratives of young children with disabilities and their siblings in Sri Lanka. Fifteen children with disabilities and fifteen siblings were included in this study. Opportunities were offered to the participants to engage in artwork and story making activities. Narratives on the artwork and stories were gathered and the data analyzed using the key principles of Framework Analysis to determine the key themes. The key themes to emerge were of love, protectiveness, insecurity and visibility. The results highlight the need to take account of the experiences of children with disabilities and their siblings to understand how they understand and cope with disability.

Keywords: art, children with disabilities, narratives, siblings, storymaking

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6 Of Love and Isolation: Narratives of Siblings of Children with Cerebral Palsy in Sri Lanka

Authors: Shyamani Hettiarachchi

Abstract:

Aim: Siblings of children with cerebral palsy are often in the periphery of discussions; their views not always taken into account. The aim of this study was to uncover the narratives of young siblings of children with cerebral palsy in Sri Lanka. Methods: Semi-structured interviews and artwork were gathered from 10 children who have siblings diagnosed with cerebral palsy. The data was analyzed using the key principles of Framework Analysis to determine the key themes within the narratives. Results: The key themes to emerge were complex and nuanced. These included themes of love and feeling of protectiveness; jealousy and uncertainly; guilt and hope. Conclusions: The results highlight the need to take document the views of siblings who are often on the margins of the family and of family decisions and discussions. It also supports the need to offer safe spaces and opportunities for siblings of children with disabilities to express their feelings and to receive support where required.

Keywords: disability, grandmothers, mothers, narratives, women

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5 Validating the Cerebral Palsy Quality of Life for Children (CPQOL-Child) Questionnaire for Use in Sri Lanka

Authors: Shyamani Hettiarachchi, Gopi Kitnasamy

Abstract:

Background: The potentially high level of physical need and dependency experienced by children with cerebral palsy could affect the quality of life (QOL) of the child, the caregiver and his/her family. Poor QOL in children with cerebral palsy is associated with the parent-child relationship, limited opportunities for social participation, limited access to healthcare services, psychological well-being and the child's physical functioning. Given that children experiencing disabilities have little access to remedial support with an inequitable service across districts in Sri Lanka, and given the impact of culture and societal stigma, there may be differing viewpoints across respondents. Objectives: The aim of this study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of the Tamil version of the Cerebral Palsy Quality of Life for Children (CPQOL-Child) Questionnaire. Design: An instrument development and validation study. Methods: Forward and backward translations of the CPQOL-Child were undertaken by a team comprised of a physiotherapist, speech and language therapist and two linguists for the primary caregiver form and the child self-report form. As part of a pilot phase, the Tamil version of the CPQOL was completed by 45 primary caregivers with children with cerebral palsy and 15 children with cerebral palsy (GMFCS level 3-4). In addition, the primary caregivers commented on the process of filling in the questionnaire. The psychometric properties of test-retest reliability, internal consistency and construct validity were undertaken. Results: The test-retest reliability and internal consistency were high. A significant association (p < 0.001) was found between limited motor skills and poor QOL. The Cronbach's alpha for the whole questionnaire was at 0.95.Similarities and divergences were found between the two groups of respondents. The child respondents identified limited motor skills as associated with physical well-being and autonomy. Akin to this, the primary caregivers associated the severity of motor function with limitations of physical well-being and autonomy. The trend observed was that QOL was not related to the level of impairment but connected to environmental factors by the child respondents. In addition to this, the main concern among primary caregivers about the child's future and on the child's lack of independence was not fully captured by the QOL questionnaire employed. Conclusions: Although the initial results of the CPQOL questionnaire show high test-retest reliability and internal consistency of the instrument, it does not fully reflect the socio-cultural realities and primary concerns of the caregivers. The current findings highlight the need to take child and caregiver perceptions of QOL into account in clinical practice and research. It strongly indicates the need for culture-specific measures of QOL.

Keywords: cerebral palsy, CPQOL, culture, quality of life

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4 Key Findings on Rapid Syntax Screening Test for Children

Authors: Shyamani Hettiarachchi, Thilini Lokubalasuriya, Shakeela Saleem, Dinusha Nonis, Isuru Dharmaratne, Lakshika Udugama

Abstract:

Introduction: Late identification of language difficulties in children could result in long-term negative consequences for communication, literacy and self-esteem. This highlights the need for early identification and intervention for speech, language and communication difficulties. Speech and language therapy is a relatively new profession in Sri Lanka and at present, there are no formal standardized screening tools to assess language skills in Sinhala-speaking children. The development and validation of a short, accurate screening tool to enable the identification of children with syntactic difficulties in Sinhala is a current need. Aims: 1) To develop test items for a Sinhala Syntactic Structures (S3 Short Form) test on children aged between 3;0 to 5;0 years 2) To validate the test of Sinhala Syntactic Structures (S3 Short Form) on children aged between 3; 0 to 5; 0 years Methods: The Sinhala Syntactic Structures (S3 Short Form) was devised based on the Renfrew Action Picture Test. As Sinhala contains post-positions in contrast to English, the principles of the Renfrew Action Picture Test were followed to gain an information score and a grammar score but the test devised reflected the linguistic-specificity and complexity of Sinhala and the pictures were in keeping with the culture of the country. This included the dative case marker ‘to give something to her’ (/ejɑ:ʈə/ meaning ‘to her’), the instrumental case marker ‘to get something from’ (/ejɑ:gən/ meaning ‘from him’ or /gɑhən/ meaning ‘from the tree’), possessive noun (/ɑmmɑge:/ meaning ‘mother’s’ or /gɑhe:/ meaning ‘of the tree’ or /male:/ meaning ‘of the flower’) and plural markers (/bɑllɑ:/ bɑllo:/ meaning ‘dog/dogs’, /mɑlə/mɑl/ meaning ‘flower/flowers’, /gɑsə/gɑs/ meaning ‘tree/trees’ and /wɑlɑ:kulə/wɑlɑ:kulu/ meaning ‘cloud/clouds’). The picture targets included socio-culturally appropriate scenes of the Sri Lankan New Year celebration, elephant procession and the Buddhist ‘Wesak’ ceremony. The test was piloted with a group of 60 participants and necessary changes made. In phase 1, the test was administered to 100 Sinhala-speaking children aged between 3; 0 and 5; 0 years in one district. In this presentation on phase 2, the test was administered to another 100 Sinhala-speaking children aged between 3; 0 to 5; 0 in three districts. In phase 2, the selection of the test items was assessed via measures of content validity, test-retest reliability and inter-rater reliability. The age of acquisition of each syntactic structure was determined using content and grammar scores which were statistically analysed using t-tests and one-way ANOVAs. Results: High percentage agreement was found on test-retest reliability on content validity and Pearson correlation measures and on inter-rater reliability. As predicted, there was a statistically significant influence of age on the production of syntactic structures at p<0.05. Conclusions: As the target test items included generated the information and the syntactic structures expected, the test could be used as a quick syntactic screening tool with preschool children.

Keywords: Sinhala, screening, syntax, language

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3 Impact of Elements of Rock and Water Combination on Landscape Perception: A Visual Landscape Quality Assessment on Kaludiya Pokuna in Sri Lanka

Authors: Clarence Dissanayake, Anishka A. Hettiarachchi

Abstract:

Landscape architecture needs to encompass a placemaking process carefully composing and manipulating landscape elements to address perceptual needs of humans, especially aesthetic, psychological and spiritual. The objective of this qualitative investigation is to inquire the impact of elements of rock and water combination on landscape perception and related feelings, emotions, and behavior. The past empirical studies have assessed the impact of landscape elements in isolation on user preference, yet the combined effect of elements have been less considered. This research was conducted with reference to the verity of qualities of water and rock through a visual landscape quality assessment focusing on landscape qualities derived from five visual concepts (coherence, historicity imageability, naturalness, and ephemera). 'Kaludiya Pokuna' archeological site in Anuradhapura was investigated with a sample of University students (n=19, male 14, female 5, age 20-25) using a five-point Likert scale via a perception based questionnaire and a visitor employed photographic survey (VEP). Two hypothetical questions were taken into investigation concerning biophilic (naturalness) and topophilic (historicity) aspects of humans to prefer a landscape with rock and water. The findings revealed that this combination encourages both biophilic and topophilic aspects, but in varying degrees. The identified hierarchy of visual concepts based on visitor’s preference signify coherence (93%), historicity (89%), imageability (79%), naturalness (75%) and ephemera (70%) respectively. It was further revealed that this combination creates a scenery more coherent dominating information processing aspect of humans to perceive a landscape over the biophilic and topophilic aspects. Different characteristics and secondary landscape effects generated by rock and water combination were found to affect in transforming a space into a place, full filling the aesthetic and spiritual aspects of the visitors. These findings enhance a means of making places for people, resource management and historical landscape conservation. Equalization of gender based participation, taking diverse cases and increasing the sample size with more analytical photographic analysis are recommended to enhance the quality of further research.

Keywords: landscape perception, visitor’s preference, rock and water combination, visual concepts

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2 Architecture for Hearing Impaired: A Study on Conducive Learning Environments for Deaf Children with Reference to Sri Lanka

Authors: Champa Gunawardana, Anishka Hettiarachchi

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Conducive Architecture for learning environments is an area of interest for many scholars around the world. Loss of sense of hearing leads to the assumption that deaf students are visual learners. Comprehending favorable non-hearing attributes of architecture can lead to effective, rich and friendly learning environments for hearing impaired. The objective of the current qualitative investigation is to explore the nature and parameters of a sense of place of deaf children to support optimal learning. The investigation was conducted with hearing-impaired children (age: between 8-19, Gender: 15 male and 15 female) of Yashodhara deaf and blind school at Balangoda, Sri Lanka. A sensory ethnography study was adopted to identify the nature of perception and the parameters of most preferred and least preferred spaces of the learning environment. The common perceptions behind most preferred places in the learning environment were found as being calm and quiet, sense of freedom, volumes characterized by openness and spaciousness, sense of safety, wide spaces, privacy and belongingness, less crowded, undisturbed, availability of natural light and ventilation, sense of comfort and the view of green colour in the surroundings. On the other hand, the least preferred spaces were found to be perceived as dark, gloomy, warm, crowded, lack of freedom, smells (bad), unsafe and having glare. Perception of space by deaf considering the hierarchy of sensory modalities involved was identified as; light - color perception (34 %), sight - visual perception (32%), touch - haptic perception (26%), smell - olfactory perception (7%) and sound – auditory perception (1%) respectively. Sense of freedom (32%) and sense of comfort (23%) were the predominant psychological parameters leading to an optimal sense of place perceived by hearing impaired. Privacy (16%), rhythm (14%), belonging (9%) and safety (6%) were found as secondary factors. Open and wide flowing spaces without visual barriers, transparent doors and windows or open port holes to ease their communication, comfortable volumes, naturally ventilated spaces, natural lighting or diffused artificial lighting conditions without glare, sloping walkways, wider stairways, walkways and corridors with ample distance for signing were identified as positive characteristics of the learning environment investigated.

Keywords: deaf, visual learning environment, perception, sensory ethnography

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1 Study on Preparation and Storage of Jam Incorporating Carrots (Dacus Carrota), Banana (Musa Acuminata) and Lime (Citrus Aurantifola)

Authors: K. Premakumar, D. S. Rushani, H. N. Hettiarachchi

Abstract:

The production and consumption of preserved foods have gained much importance due to globalization, and they provide a health benefit apart from the basic nutritional functions. Therefore, a study was conducted to develop a jam incorporating carrot, banana, and lime. Considering the findings of several preliminary studies, five formulations of the jam were prepared by blending different percentages of carrot and banana including control (where the only carrot was added). The freshly prepared formulations were subjected to physicochemical and sensory analysis.Physico-Chemical parameters such as pH, TSS, titrable acidity, ascorbic acid content, total sugar and non-reducing sugar and organoleptic qualities such as colour, aroma, taste, spread ability and overall acceptability and microbial analysis (total plate count) were analyzed after formulations. Physico-Chemical Analysis of the freshly prepared Carrot –Banana Blend jam showed increasing trend in titrable acidity (from 0.8 to 0.96, as % of citric acid), TSS (from 70.05 to 67.5 0Brix), ascorbic acid content (from 0.83 to 11.465 mg/100ml), reducing sugar (from 15.64 to 20.553%) with increase in carrot pulp from 50 to 100%. pH, total sugar, and non-reducing sugar were also reduced when carrot concentration is increased. Five points hedonic scale was used to evaluate the organoleptic characters. According to Duncan's Multiple Range Test, the mean scores for all the assessed sensory characters varied significantly (p<0.05) in the freshly made carrot-banana blend jam formulations. Based on the physicochemical and sensory analysis, the most preferred carrot: banana combinations of 50:50, 100:0 and 80:20 (T1, T2, and T5) were selected for storage studies.The formulations were stored at 300 °C room temperature and 70-75% of RH for 12 weeks. The physicochemical characteristics were measured at two weeks interval during storage. The decreasing trends in pH and ascorbic acid and an increasing trend in TSS, titrable acidity, total sugar, reducing sugar and non-reducing sugar were noted with advancement of storage periods of 12 weeks. The results of the chemical analysis showed that there were significance differences (p<0.05) between the tested formulations. Sensory evaluation was done for carrot –banana blends jam after a period of 12 weeks through a panel of 16 semi-trained panelists. The sensory analysis showed that there were significant differences (p<0.05) for organoleptic characters between carrot-banana blend jam formulations. The highest overall acceptability was observed in formulation with 80% carrot and 20% banana pulp. Microbiological Analysis was carried out on the day of preparation, 1 month, 2 months and 3 months after preparation. No bacterial growth was observed in the freshly made carrot -banana blend jam. There were no counts of yeast and moulds and coliforms in all treatments after the heat treatments and during the storage period. Only the bacterial counts (Total Plate Counts) were observed after three months of storage below the critical level, and all formulations were microbiologically safe for consumption. Based on the results of physio-chemical characteristics, sensory attributes, and microbial test, the carrot –banana blend jam with 80% carrot and 20% banana (T2) was selected as best formulation and could be stored up to 12 weeks without any significant changes in the quality characteristics.

Keywords: formulations, physicochemical parameters, microbiological analysis, sensory evaluation

Procedia PDF Downloads 146