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ERIC Number: EJ868190
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 14
ISSN: ISSN-1538-6619
Partnering with Families of Children with Special Needs
Ray, Julie A.; Pewitt-Kinder, Julia; George, Suzanne
Young Children, v64 n5 p16-22 Sep 2009
Families may learn their child has a disability during pregnancy, at birth, or even later, when their child enters a child care program in a home or classroom setting. Although a family's reaction to the news that their child has a special need may depend upon the child's age, the severity of the disability, and the family's cultural view of disabilities, researchers liken the experience to the grieving process that Kubler-Ross (1969) describes in her classic book, "On Death and Dying." Reactions move from denial of the disability to anger at the diagnosis, to bargaining with the experts involved in the diagnosis, depression, and to acceptance of the disability. Acceptance of the diagnosis can take years, as frequent reminders of the disability cause families to reexperience the grief. Families of children with special needs often have ideas from their perspective as parents about ways educators can show support. This article discusses some strategies for working with families of children with special needs which focus on understanding family life, learning about disabilities, communicating frequently, and working through challenges with families.
National Association for the Education of Young Children. 1313 L Street NW Suite 500, Washington, DC 22205-4101. Tel: 800-424-2460; Tel: 202-232-8777; Fax: 202-328-2649; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act