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Mothers of young children with disabilities: Perceived benefits and worries about preschool

A child's move from early intervention (EI) to special education preschool is considered to be a critical transition point for both the child and family. Family concerns during this process are heightened by changes in service delivery systems. Although much has been written about the transition from EI services, little is known about the parents' perceptions of the early preschool experience. Data from a sample of 105 mothers and their children from the Early Intervention Collaborative Study [Hauser-Cram, P., Warfield, M.E., Shonkoff, J.P., & Krauss, M.W. (2001). Children with disabilities: A longitudinal study of child development and parent well-being. Society for Research in Child Development Monographs, 66, 1-131] were used to analyse mothers' reports on a study-developed measure designed to capture their views of children's preschool experiences immediately following transition. Factor analysis indicated two distinct factors, 'benefits of school' and 'worries about school.' Each of these factors was then regressed on child, family, and preschool classroom characteristics to examine predictors of maternal perceptions about her child's new preschool experience. Implications for the receiving special education programmes and preschool teachers' practices are discussed. (author abstract)
Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States
Massachusetts; New Hampshire

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