ERIC Number: ED417903
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Rural Ojibwe Mothers' Experiences with Early Childhood Special Education Services.
Aakhus, Belle P.; Hoover, John H.
Two rural Ojibwe mothers whose young children received early childhood at-risk services were interviewed about their life circumstances and experiences with service delivery. Major interview themes that emerged included positive experiences and successes with early childhood special education services, and rural and cultural obstacles to the effectiveness of services. The non-Native early childhood professional who served the children of both women was viewed as genuine, knowledgeable, and capable of sharing her knowledge without pretense or criticism of the families. The mothers' high level of comfort with this professional, who frequently visited them in their homes and who advocated for them in interactions with bureaucrats and medical personnel, underscores the importance of a service provider's personal style to program success. Both children's conditions improved as a result of timely and consistent early intervention services. The mothers also experienced various obstacles to the effectiveness of services: distance to appropriate medical care; pessimistic attitudes and lack of active listening on the part of doctors and other medical personnel; and lack of trust by Native American families toward non-Native professionals due to disabled Native children being removed from their families in the past. Other interview themes included the positive contribution of Native traditional values to the children's outcomes, spiritual feelings, the difficult choice between the tribal school's cultural strengths and the local public school's extra services, and support received from the family's medicine man. (SV)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A