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ERIC Number: ED556371
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 316
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3035-9055-9
Building Bridges: A Case Study of the Perceptions of Parents of Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) towards Family
Lautenbacher, Susan L.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
This qualitative case study examines the perceptions of parents of students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) towards family/school partnerships. Interviews were conducted with parents of children with autism that belonged to a parent support group in western Pennsylvania. The resulting interviews cast light on the motivators and barriers that influence parental decisions to enter into partnerships with educational professionals. The parents were motivated towards family/school partnerships through the concepts of invitation to involvement, trust, emotional connect, and parental efficacy. Role construction, team approach, parent's knowledge, and "it's the law" served as lesser motivators. The motivators toward family/school partnerships also have the ability to serve as barriers against family/school partnerships. Whether a concept serves to motivator or stand as a barrier depends on how the interactions occur between families and educational professionals. Furthermore, analysis centers on the rights and responsibilities of parents found under family/school partnerships and special education law. As parents of children receiving services due to a recognized disability, the parents have additional rights and responsibilities in the area of school collaboration. The law mandates that parents be included fully in the six major principles contained within the law: due process safeguards, shared decision-making, zero reject, nondiscriminatory identification and evaluation, free appropriate public education, and least restrictive environment (IDEIA, 2004). Since 2004 the law incorporates a sense of responsibility for parents to do all that they can to engage actively in participatory behaviors. As a result of this study, the complexity of participatory behaviors of parents of children with ASD towards family/school collaboration emerges. Bronfenbrenner's (1992) bio-ecological theory of human development and Epstein's (2001d) overlapping spheres of influences serve as the conceptual framework for the study. The environment works on the person as the person works on the environment creating the constancy and change that occurs over the course of a lifetime. This understanding serves to shed light on motivating behaviors that can be adopted by educational professionals to ensure parents of children with ASD develop positive perceptions towards family/school partnerships. [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:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania