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ERIC Number: EJ908181
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 6
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 9
ISSN: ISSN-1175-9232
Building Communities of Support around a Child with Special Education Needs: The Effects of Participatory Action Research
Lamb, Judy
Kairaranga, v9 spec iss p32-37 2008
Over a period of a year, formal and informal interactions among members of the community around a four-year-old girl with special education needs were focused through participatory action research (PAR). The team included parents, kindergarten teachers, an education support worker, speech-language therapist, early intervention teacher and psychologist. Closer relationships between team members have resulted in more immediate sharing of relevant information, collaborative analysis and responses using appropriate intervention strategies. Strategies used have included intensive blocks of intervention to introduce the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) in the child's home and kindergarten settings. The relevance of this system was established when the child made a spontaneous card exchange at the kindergarten to claim something she wanted from an adult with whom she did not have close contact. A variety of methods were used to record and share personal refections, observations and assessment, formally and informally, within the team. Transferal of information, practice and skills across the child's environments has been expanded in preparation for transition to school. Mutual respect has been enhanced as the value of the contribution of all team members has been recognised, and the use of PAR has been favourably evaluated by the team as an enhancement of the previous practice, which used a six-monthly Individual Development Plan cycle. (Contains 1 figure and 2 footnotes.)
New Zealand Ministry of Education. Available from: Massey University. Private Bag 11 222; Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand. Tel: +64-6-351-3396; Fax: +64-6-351-3472; email:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education; Kindergarten
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A