Children’s Perspective on Their Right to Participate in Decision-making According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child Article 12

Aims: According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child article 12, children have a right to express their views. However, knowledge on how children with a disability perceive this right and the extent to which they would like to access this right is unclear. The aim of this study was to describe and capture the meaning of children’s perspective on their right to participate in decision-making together with the children’s lived experiences in pediatric rehabilitation. Methods: A phenomenological hermeneutical research design was applied for gathering the thoughts and lived experiences of seven children with different disabilities through individual interviews and observations. Results: The children expressed satisfaction with participation being limited to less important decisions. This may be understood as lack of experience with participation in decision-making or an inherent wish of becoming like peers and therefore viewing therapists as experts of a normalization process. Conclusions: Health care professionals should consider informing the child of the possibility of decision-making and for negotiating power-sharing and responsibility concerning decisions in pediatric rehabilitation.