Parental views of supports and services related to their special needs children : transition to kindergarden

Templeman-Barnes, Arlene L. (1996) Parental views of supports and services related to their special needs children : transition to kindergarden. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

The major purpose of this study was to determine parental needs concerning the supports and services they desired as their special needs children were transitioning to kindergarten. Of specific interest were the supports offered prior to and upon school entry, parental expectations regarding the school setting, teacher attention and parental involvement in their child's education. Parental needs were examined comparatively for rural and urban parents. The support services offered to parents and children were compared according to the time of special needs diagnosis, whether prior to or after, school entry. Parental expectations regarding the school system were examined comparatively, considering whether or not the children attended a preschool. -- A self-designed questionnaire was administered to a group of parents from the geographical locations encompassed within the Bonavista-Trinity-Placentia Integrated School Board, the Gander-Bonavista-Connaigre Roman Catholic School Board and the Avalon Consolidated School Board. -- Analysis of the data indicated that parents from rural and urban areas expressed different needs related to their child's transition to kindergarten. While urban parents were concerned with home to school communication and in-school tutoring programs, rural parents were concerned with the instructional aspects of education, such as the amount of teacher attention offered to their child and the availability of preschool or daycare learning environments. With respect to informal and formal support needs, urban parents stated a greater preference for formal support needs such as school staff, support groups and public health. Both groups of parents indicated equal preference for informal support systems such as family members, other parents and friends. -- The data revealed extensive differences in service offerings to parents whose children were diagnosed with special needs prior to school entry as compared serviced offerings to parents whose children were diagnosed after school entry. The first group of parents and children received more varied services to prepare the children academically and socially for kindergarten. Also, parents in this group held more realistic opinions of the school's expectations for them and their children than did parents in the group whose children were not diagnosed as special needs until after school entry. -- The thesis data also demonstrated differences in parental expectations between parents whose children attended a preschool and parents whose children did not attend a preschool. Parents with a preschool learning experience had more realistic expectations regarding classroom settings, the amount of teacher attention offered to their child and the number of parent/teacher meetings held. However, both groups of parents did expect that Special Education Programming and individualized teacher attention would be offered to their child as was necessary to ensure a successful school experience.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/6572
Item ID: 6572
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 105-113
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1996
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Children with disabilities--Education (Preschool); Children with disabilities--Education (Early childhood); Children with disabilities--Services for; Early childhood education--Parental participation; Parents of children with disabilities--Attitudes

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