Parental attitudes toward mainstreaming young children with disabilities.
Young children with disabilities are being included in regular early child care settings with increasing frequency throughout the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. . Effective methods to ensure children's social, instructional and physical integration are readily available and easily implemented (Allen Al·len , Edgar 1892-1943.
American anatomist who is noted for his studies of hormones and for the discovery (1923) of estrogen. , 1992; Cook, Tessier & Klein, 1992).
Research findings demonstrate that such mainstreamed settings support the growth and development of children with disabilities and are consistent with recent public policy interpretations of the least restrictive environment As part of the U.S. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the least restrictive environment is identified as one of the six principles that govern the education of students with disabilities. (Guralnick, 1990).
The Americans with Disabilities Act Americans with Disabilities Act, U.S. civil-rights law, enacted 1990, that forbids discrimination of various sorts against persons with physical or mental handicaps. (ADA Ada, city, United States
Ada (ā`ə), city (1990 pop. 15,820), seat of Pontotoc co., S central Okla.; inc. 1904. It is a large cattle market and the center of a rich oil and ranch area. ) of 1990 prohibits child care centers and family child care homes from enrollment discrimination based on a child's disability. Child care providers are now required to take "readily achievable" steps to accommodate children with disabilities (Surr, 1992). The question is no longer if children with disabilities will be included, but rather how to include them in a way that will promote positive outcomes for everyone involved.
By reviewing the literature on parental attitudes toward mainstreaming, the authors hope to allay al·lay
tr.v. al·layed, al·lay·ing, al·lays
1. To reduce the intensity of; relieve: allay back pains. See Synonyms at relieve.
2. parents' and teachers' apprehensions about including children with disabilities in neighborhood educational programs.
Inclusion holds the promise of integrating not only the children, but also their families into full community participation. Families of children with disabilities often feel isolated from activities of the early childhood community, such as parenting classes and play groups (Hanline & Hanson, 1989; Stagg & Catron, 1986).
Involving parents of children with disabilities in child care settings may be a first step toward achieving full participation. Effective inclusion, however, depends upon the families feeling welcome and comfortable in the mainstreamed early childhood settings. Their participation and support are crucial to the success of mainstreamed programs. Therefore, the authors will review what is known about parental perceptions of and experiences with mainstreaming and discuss implications for practice.
REVIEW OF RESEARCH
Examination of current research reveals an emerging interest in parental perspectives on integration--from parents of children with disabilities as well as those without (Odom & McEvoy, 1988). The literature focuses on parental perceptions of integration's effect on: children, the family and the community.
Effect of Mainstreaming on Children
Many parents of children with disabilities want their children to form friendships with nondisabled children and reap the benefits of real-world experiences offered by integration (Strain, 1990). As one parent states: "I chose an environment that looked healthy and normal. I wanted him in the normal world. I wanted a sense that children in the classroom were perceived as being growing children. I wanted him to have the chance to be around regular kids."
Parents often have two concerns, however, when considering integration: the possibility of negative interactions with peers and the quality of the child care programs. The opportunity for friendship development and other benefits are often overshadowed by parental desires to protect their children from verbal abuse verbal abuse Psychology A form of emotional abuse consisting of the use of abusive and demeaning language with a spouse, child, or elder, often by a caregiver or other person in a position of power. See Child abuse, Emotional abuse, Spousal abuse. , isolation and ridicule.
In actuality ac·tu·al·i·ty
n. pl. ac·tu·al·i·ties
1. The state or fact of being actual; reality. See Synonyms at existence.
2. Actual conditions or facts. Often used in the plural. , however, parents of children in integrated settings report very few difficulties with peers and agree that integrated settings promote positive social contact for all children (Green & Stoneman, 1989; McDonnell, 1987; Villa, Thousand, Stainback & Stainback, 1992). Friendships between children with disabilities and typically developing peers seem to be a natural consequence of carefully planned daily social interactions in developmentally appropriate early childhood settings.
Another major concern for parents of children with disabilities is the possible decrease in the overall quality and quantity of specialized spe·cial·ize
v. spe·cial·ized, spe·cial·iz·ing, spe·cial·iz·es
1. To pursue a special activity, occupation, or field of study.
2. services their children will receive in an integrated setting. They want the same quality and frequency of therapy services available in special education settings, as well as access to adaptive equipment Adaptive equipment are devices that are used to assist with completing activities of daily living.
Bathing, dressing, grooming, toileting, and feeding are self-care activities that are including in the spectrum of activities of daily living (ADLs). and materials and intervention A procedure used in a lawsuit by which the court allows a third person who was not originally a party to the suit to become a party, by joining with either the plaintiff or the defendant. by specially trained professionals.
Parents of children enrolled in integrated settings, however, express confidence that all children's needs can be met within the structure and organization of an integrated setting. Kaskinen-Chapman (1992) surveyed parents of children who had been transitioned into mainstreamed classrooms. "The parents expressed that they believed social and academic gains made by their children would not have occurred in segregated educational settings" (p. 183).
The most important factor parents cited for ensuring the success of an integrated setting is the training and support that teachers receive (Hanline & Halvorsen, 1989; McDonnell, 1987; Reichart et al., 1989; Turnbull, Winton, Blacher & Salkind, 1982).
Parents of children without disabilities often fear that mainstreaming may have negative effects on their children's development or skill acquisition and express concern that their children will not receive adequate attention from adults (Peck peck: see English units of measurement. , Carlson & Helmstetter, 1992; Reichart et al., 1989). Research, however, indicates that typically developing children are not adversely affected by inclusion settings and may actually benefit from the curriculum and instructional strategies (Odom & McEvoy, 1988; Stainback & Stainback, 1981).
Nondisabled children display sensitivity by adapting their language to the developmental level of the child with disabilities (Guralnick & Paul-Brown, 1980) and by offering help and friendship to their peers with disabilities (Hanline, in press; Ipsa & Matz, 1978).
Parents report that their nondisabled children receive adequate attention in integrated preschools and make satisfactory developmental progress (Green & Stoneman, 1989; Peck, Hayden, Wandschneider, Peterson & Richarz, 1989; Reichart et al., 1989). In fact, parents believe that positive exposure to children with disabilities will promote acceptance and tolerance.
One parent notes: "My son has in no way suffered from exposure to children with disabilities. If anything, it has broadened his view of those around him and allowed him the opportunity to socialize so·cial·ize
v. so·cial·ized, so·cial·iz·ing, so·cial·iz·es
1. To place under government or group ownership or control.
2. To make fit for companionship with others; make sociable. with children different from himself or his other playmates The name "Playmates" may refer to:
Effect of Mainstreaming on Families
Child care environments and parental experiences within those environments affect families of children with and without disabilities. Because of the structural, cultural and labor characteristics of today's families, children are often cared for by individuals outside the home for much of their day. Child care programs support the family's role in child-rearing by creating partnerships and continuity between families and early childhood programs. Child care programs also offer opportunities to develop informal support networks with other families (Powell, 1989).
Such relationships with other families may provide emotional support and other resources, such as crisis child care, hand-me-down clothing and weekend activities. The potential for such positive and supportive interactions among parents of children with and without disabilities is often cited in support of integration (e.g., Hanline & Hanson, 1989). Parents of young children with disabilities have much in common with parents of nondisabled children. For example, all parents share concerns about feeding, discipline and sibling sibling /sib·ling/ (sib´ling) any of two or more offspring of the same parents; a brother or sister.
These interactions may help parents of children with disabilities realize that their concerns are often about universal child-rearing responsibilities, not necessarily about raising a child with disabilities. In addition, parents of nondisabled children have the opportunity to learn about disabilities, the capabilities of persons with disabilities and the importance of integration.
Various other studies have been conducted on this issue. A study conducted by Blacher & Turnbull (1983), revealed that parents of nondisabled children were more likely to interact with other parents of nondisabled children than with parents of children who were disabled. Parents of children with disabilities did not indicate a preference.
In other studies, parents reported feelings of isolation and discomfort Discomfort may refer to pain, an unpleasant sensation, or to suffering, an unpleasant feeling or emotion. around parents of nondisabled children (Blacher & Turnbull, 1983; Cansler & Winton, 1983). The parents of children with disabilities wondered if they had any interests in common with parents of nondisabled children and sometimes felt uncomfortable explaining their child's special needs to other parents (Chen, Hanline & Friedman, 1989).
Some parents feel that early intervention/special education programs provide family services (support groups, respite care Respite Care
Short-term or temporary care of a few hours or weeks of the sick or disabled to provide relief, or respite, to the regular caregiver, usually a family member.
Notes: , sibling workshops) that often are not part of a typical child care setting. In addition, parents report that professionals trained in early intervention/special education are a source of personal support. Some parents feel that, although their children benefit more from an integrated setting, specialized programs provide more benefits for the families (Bailey & Winton, 1987, 1989; Turnbull & Winton, 1983).
These variable research findings indicate that integration affects families in very individual ways. The child care provider's ability to support families and encourage mutually beneficial Adj. 1. mutually beneficial - mutually dependent
dependent - relying on or requiring a person or thing for support, supply, or what is needed; "dependent children"; "dependent on moisture" relationships among all families may also influence the effects of integration.
Effect of Mainstreaming on Communities
Social and ethical arguments for integrating children with disabilities build upon the hope that attitudes toward persons with disabilities will become more positive as a result of exposure and reduced fear (Bricker, 1978). Stainback and Stainback (1985) point out the importance of learning to live, play and work together to "affirm and enjoy the beauties and inherent value of individual differences" (p. 10). Accepting and celebrating diversity and respecting and advocating for the rights of all individuals are values that will last a lifetime.
Parents of children with disabilities often feel that exposure to the real world promotes community acceptance of persons with disabilities. Parents of nondisabled children value the sensitivity their children express toward their friends with disabilities (Bailey & Winton, 1987; Reichart et al., 1989; Turnbull et al., 1982). One parent shares her daughter's experiences: "She has become much more sensitive to others' limitations and needs. This sensitivity has caused her to look beyond her immediate self." And another parent states: "My daughter often talks about the children with special needs as if she is proud that she knows them."
If early child care experiences are viewed as a preparation for life in the community, integrated child care experiences may foster understanding, acceptance and appreciation. In turn, these attitudes may open up opportunities for full community participation. There is, in fact, some evidence that positive integration experiences in the preschool years influence parental attitudes toward integration during the elementary school elementary school: see school. years.
A recent study (Miller et al., 1992) found that parents of children with and without disabilities whose children had been mainstreamed in early childhood settings expressed more favorable fa·vor·a·ble
1. Advantageous; helpful: favorable winds.
2. Encouraging; propitious: a favorable diagnosis.
3. attitudes toward integration opportunities in school-age programs than other parents. These results indicate that exposure to mainstreaming increases parental acceptance of children with disabilities and could have future implications for the support of integration.
IMPLICATIONS FOR POLICY AND PRACTICE
The effect of mainstreaming on children, families and communities should be considered when developing education practices and models of service delivery to young children and their families. The following suggestions will help bring children and families together in a way that provides the same opportunities for all, recognizes individual capabilities and fosters sensitivity.
Build Links with Community Agencies
Develop cooperatize agreements between agencies and participate in local interagency in·ter·a·gen·cy
Involving or representing two or more agencies, especially government agencies. coordinating councils. Ongoing collaborative partnerships between agencies (community mental health and social service agencies, state and local school systems, community health departments) help alleviate Alleviate
To make something easier to be endured.
Mentioned in: Kinesiology, Applied the frustration families often face when dealing with numerous agency personnel. Such partnerships also facilitate establishing a continuum Continuum (pl. -tinua or -tinuums) can refer to:
In music, Galant was a term referring to a style, principally occurring in the third quarter of the 18th century, which featured a return to classical simplicity , in press).
Build Collaborative Teams Within the School
Coordinate planning, instructional and evaluation responsibilities. Team teaching and consultative services by special educators and therapists are two service-delivery models that effectively provide initial and ongoing training and support to child care providers in integrated settings (Hanline, 1990; Templeman, Fredericks & Udell, 1989). In team teaching, a regular education teacher and a special education teacher work together and share the responsibility of meeting the needs of all children.
In a consultative model, the regular education teacher may consult special educators, therapists, mobility specialists, adaptive recreation Adaptive Recreation is a concept whereby people with disabilities are given the opportunity to participate in recreational activities. Through the use of activity modifications and assistive technology, athletes or participants in sports or other recreational pursuits are able to specialists and others. A speech and language pathologist pa·thol·o·gist
A specialist in pathology who practices chiefly in the laboratory as a consultant to clinical colleagues.
Pathologist , for example, may conduct a small group activity in the classroom in cooperation with the teacher, thus providing an optimal language learning environment. These models rearrange re·ar·range
tr.v. re·ar·ranged, re·ar·rang·ing, re·ar·rang·es
To change the arrangement of.
re instructional resources to promote the success of all children in inclusive settings and allow children to stay in child care situations chosen by their parents.
Encourage Social Interaction
Promote friendships and social interactions among all children and share the children's successes with parents. Teachers can demonstrate how they value these relationships by designing bulletin boards to display children's pictures and stories about their friends. Other suggestions to promote such friendships include: sending home drawings or Polaroid photos of children and their friends with an accompanying note about the purpose of the activity and creating newsletters for parents that explain classroom activities and the kinds of interactions a teacher is trying to promote. Helpful resources for facilitating friendships among all children include: Crary, E. (1984). Kids can cooperate. Seattle, WA: Parenting Press. Derman-Sparks, L., & A.B.C. Task Force. (1989). Anti-bias curriculum The anti-bias curriculum, in education, is an active/activist approach that proponents claim challenges forms of prejudice such as racism, sexism, ableism/disablism, ageism, homophobia, and other –isms. : Tools for empowering young children. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is the largest nonprofit association in the United States representing early childhood education teachers, experts, and advocates in center-based and family day care. . Odom, S., Bender, M. K., Stein Stein , William Howard 1911-1980.
American biochemist. He shared a 1972 Nobel Prize for pioneering studies of ribonuclease. , M. L., Doran, L. P., Houden, P. M., McInnes, M., Gilbert, M. M., Deklyn, M., Speltz, M. L., & Jenkins, J. R. (1990). The integrated preschool curriculum: Procedures for socially integrating young handicapped and normally developing children. Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press. Odom, S. L., McConnell, S. R., & McEvoy, M. A. (1992). Social competence of young children with disabilities: Issues and strategies for intervention. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.
Provide Information in a Parent Library
Provide resources about children with disabilities as well as nondisabled children. Many resources on disabilities are available from: Association for Retarded re·tard·ed
1. Often Offensive Affected with mental retardation.
2. Occurring or developing later than desired or expected; delayed. Citizens, Council for Exceptional Children, March of Dimes
Create Opportunities for Interaction Between Families
Provide workshops, field trips and activities that are appropriate for all children and their families. Workshop topics that focus on encouraging children's self-esteem, promoting friendships at school and preventing misbehavior would interest all families. Parents of children with disabilities might want to help prepare a workshop on disability awareness. Outings to the local library or a retirement home can be enjoyable learning opportunities for all.
Facilitate Participation in Community Activities
Become informed about community services and resources for families of children with disabilities and assist families in accessing the services. Community-wide parent or sibling support groups, parent libraries, respite RESPITE, contracts, civil law. An act by which a debtor who is unable to satisfy his debts at the moment, transacts (i. e. compromises) with his creditors, and obtains from them time or delay for the payment of the sums which he owes to them. Louis. Code, 3051. services and recreational opportunities are available in some communities. Families can receive help accessing those services through community referral services, mental health agencies, child find programs, phone listings, hospital wellness programs, and state and local social service and education agencies. Early intervention ear·ly intervention
n. Abbr. EI
A process of assessment and therapy provided to children, especially those younger than age 6, to facilitate normal cognitive and emotional development and to prevent developmental disability or delay. agencies funded through nonprofit organizations Nonprofit Organization
An association that is given tax-free status. Donations to a non-profit organization are often tax deductible as well.
Examples of non-profit organizations are charities, hospitals and schools. such as United Cerebral Palsy United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), sometimes known as United Cerebral Palsy Associations, is a network of affiliated groups in the United States which works to "advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities" (from UCP's mission statement), , Easter Seals Easter Seals is an international charitable organization devoted to providing opportunities for children with physical disabilities. See
Be Sensitive to Families' Needs and Families' Rights
Become familiar with federal and state laws and agency and school policies concerning the rights of children and their families. All families have the right to confidentiality, respect and equal treatment. Families may need support in their child-rearing role, information about community resources or help dealing with a particular concern or project. Families of children with disabilities also need an accessible facility and access to activities conducted away from the center.
Parents agree that the major goal of mainstreamed education is to provide an environment in which all children, regardless of intellectual or physical characteristics, can succeed. A child succeeds by developing autonomy, independence, competence and pride. Success may also mean feeling comfortable interacting with people who have disabilities. Mainstreamed education offers many opportunities to learn about individual differences and therefore has positive effects on young children, their families and their communities.
Note: Quotes used in this manuscript manuscript, a handwritten work as distinguished from printing. The oldest manuscripts, those found in Egyptian tombs, were written on papyrus; the earliest dates from c.3500 B.C. are actual statements of parents whose children attend integrated child care settings.
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n the fundamental reasons used as the basis for a decision or action. for the integration of handicapped and nonhandicapped preschool children. In M. Guralnick (Ed.), Early intervention and the integration of handicapped and nonhandicapped children (pp. 3-26). Baltimore, MD: University Park Press. Cansler, D. P., & Winton, P. (1983). Parents and preschool mainstreaming. In J. Anderson & T. Black (Eds.), Mainstreaming in early education (pp. 65-83). Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina North Carolina, state in the SE United States. It is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean (E), South Carolina and Georgia (S), Tennessee (W), and Virginia (N). Facts and Figures
Area, 52,586 sq mi (136,198 sq km). Pop. , Technical Assistance Development System. Chen, D., Hanline, M. F., & Friedman, C. T. (1989). From playgroup playgroup
a regular meeting of infants for supervised creative play
playgroup n → jardín m de infancia
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The objects of discourse analysis—discourse, writing, , conversation, communicative event, etc. of nonhandicapped preschool children's speech to handicapped children. American Journal of Mental Deficiency mental deficiency
See mental retardation. , 84(5), 444-454. Hanline, M. F. (1990). Project profile: A consulting model for providing integration opportunities for preschool children with disabilities. Journal of Early Intervention, 14, 360-366. Hanline, M. F. (in press). The inclusion of preschoolers with profound disabilities: An analysis of children's interactions. Journal of the Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps. Hanline, M. F., & Galant, K. (in press). Strategies for creating inclusive early childhood settings. In D. M. Bryant & M. A. Graham (Eds.), Implementing early intervention. New York: Guilford Publications. Hanline, M. F., & Halvorsen, A. (1989). Parent perceptions of the integration transition process: Overcoming artificial barriers. Exceptional Children, 55, 487-492. Hanline, M. F., & Hanson, M. J. (1989). Integration considerations for infants and toddlers with multiple disabilities. Journal of the Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps, 14(3), 178-183. Ipsa, J., & Matz, R. D. (1978). Integrating handicapped preschool children with a cognitively oriented o·ri·ent
1. Orient The countries of Asia, especially of eastern Asia.
a. The luster characteristic of a pearl of high quality.
b. A pearl having exceptional luster.
3. program. In M. J. Guralnick (Ed.), Early intervention and the integration of handicapped and nonhandicapped children (pp. 167-190). Baltimore, MD: University Park Press. Kaskinen-Chapman, A. (1992). Saline saline /sa·line/ (sa´len) (sa´lin) salty; of the nature of a salt; containing a salt or salts.
normal saline , physiological saline physiologic saline solution. area schools and inclusive community CONCEPTS (Collaborative Organization of Networks: Community, Educators, Parents, The Workplace and Students). In R. A. Villa, J. S. Thousand, W. Stainback, & S. Stainback (Eds.), Restructuring restructuring - The transformation from one representation form to another at the same relative abstraction level, while preserving the subject system's external behaviour (functionality and semantics). for caring and effective education: An administrative guide to creating heterogeneous Not the same. Contrast with homogeneous.
heterogeneous - Composed of unrelated parts, different in kind.
Often used in the context of distributed systems that may be running different operating systems or network protocols (a heterogeneous network). schools (pp. 169-185). Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes. McDonnell, J. (1987). The integration of students with severe handicaps into regular public schools: An analysis of parents' perceptions of potential outcomes. Education and Training in Mental Retardation mental retardation, below average level of intellectual functioning, usually defined by an IQ of below 70 to 75, combined with limitations in the skills necessary for daily living. , 22(2), 98-111. Miller, L. J., Strain, P. S., Boyd, K., Hunsicker, S., McKinley, J., & Wu, A. (1992). Parental attitudes toward mainstreaming. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 12(2), 230-246. Odom, S. L., & McEvoy, M. A. (1988). Integration of young children with handicaps and normally developing children. In S. L. Odom & M. B. Karnes (Eds.), Early intervention for infants and children with handicaps: An empirical base (pp. 241-267). Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes. Peck, C. A., Carlson, P., & Helmstetter, E. (1992). Parent and teacher perceptions of outcomes for typically developing children enrolled in integrated early childhood programs: A statewide survey. Journal of Early Intervention, 16, 53-63. Peck, C. A., Hayden, L., Wandschneider, M., Peterson, K., & Richarz, S. A. (1989). Development of integrated preschools: A qualitative inquiry Qualitative Inquiry is an bi-monthly academic journal on qualitative research methodology. It focuses on methodological issues raised by qualitative research, rather than the research's content or results. References
LRE Least Restrictive Environment
LRE Law-Related Education
LRE Long Range Ethernet (Cisco)
LRE Launch and Recovery Element
LRE Latest Revised Estimate
LRE Lead Responsible Engineer
LRE Low Bit-Rate Encoding for preschool children with handicaps: What we know, what we should be doing. Journal of Early Intervention, 14, 291-296. Surr, J. (1992). Early childhood programs and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Young Children, 47(5), 18-21. Templeman, T. P., Fredericks, H. D. B., & Udell, T. (1989). Integration of children with moderate and severe handicaps into a day care center. Journal of Early Intervention, 13, 315-328. Turnbull, A. P., & Winton, P. J. (1983). A comparison of specialized and mainstreamed preschools from the perspectives of parents of handicapped children. Journal of Pediatric pediatric /pe·di·at·ric/ (pe?de-at´rik) pertaining to the health of children.
Of or relating to pediatrics. Psychology, 8, 57-71. Turnbull, A. P., Winton, P. J., Blacher, J., & Salkind, N. (1982). Mainstreaming in the kindergarten kindergarten [Ger.,=garden of children], system of preschool education. Friedrich Froebel designed (1837) the kindergarten to provide an educational situation less formal than that of the elementary school but one in which children's creative play instincts would be classroom: Perspectives of parents of handicapped and nonhandicapped children. Journal of the Division for Early Childhood, 6, 14-20. Villa, R. A., Thousand, J. S., Stainback, W., & Stainback, S. (Eds.). (1992). Restructuring for caring and effective education: An administrative guide to creating heterogeneous schools. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brookes.