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ERIC Number: ED524681
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 183
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1244-4801-5
A Road Like No Other: Mothers' Experiences with Early Intervention Professionals
Piper, Amy Wickizer
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Indiana University
This dual case study utilizes qualitative research methods to examine the experiences of two mothers of young children with special needs. Over the course of ten months, the researcher spent many hours interviewing both mothers about their experiences with Early Intervention (EI) professionals. Observations of medical appointments, team meetings, and therapy sessions were also conducted. Document analysis was performed and augmented the data collection process. This type of methodology has had limited use in EI research which most often makes use of surveys (McNaughton, 1994) and measures of parental satisfaction (Bailey, Hebbeler, Scarborough, Spiker, & Mallik, 2004) when examining a family's encounters with EI systems. The purpose of the study was to collect the stories of parents of young children with disabilities and share their perspectives with EI professionals. The original research questions focused on determining how the mothers obtained services for their children, which practices were or were not helpful, and how parents are affected by their interactions with professionals. The mothers' expectations of EI were also explored. Parents of young children with special needs are forced to navigate multiple systems of care and are expected to fulfill many roles. It is important that professionals consider the demands that are made on families and children with special needs. Analysis of the data supported both the ecological systems theory (Bronfenbrenner, 1979) and the family systems theory (Minuchin, 1985) which are the foundation for family-centered EI practices (Dunst, 2000; Dunst, Leet, & Trivette, 1988a). The findings of this study also indicated that professionals who strive to provide quality family-centered EI for families should consider the multiple aspects of a family's life and collaborate with parents on program planning and implementation in order to increase their effectiveness in providing services that impact the child. The stories of the two mothers who participated in this research study supported the idea that EI services could better serve children and families if professionals took the time to listen, focused research on improving practices, and trained providers to be family-centered. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A