Yu, S., Ostrosky, M., & Fowler, S. (2012). Measuring young children’s attitudes toward peers with disabilities highlights from the research. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 32(3), 132-142. doi: 10.1177/0271121412453175
Young children with disabilities are increasingly attending inclusive early childhood programs with their typically developing peers. Within these programs, research efforts and practice have supported young children’s understanding and acceptance of peers with disabilities. However, there is limited information about the measures used to assess young children’s attitudes toward peers with disabilities. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to critically review the literature on young children’s attitudes toward peers with disabilities with an emphasis on measurement issues. Assessment instruments and the type of information that these assessments provide about the dimensions of attitudes toward peers with disabilities based on a conceptual model of attitude formation suggested by Triandis are highlighted. Implications for future research are addressed following the literature review.
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Kasprzak, C., Hurth, J., Rooney, R., Goode, S., Danaher, J., Whaley, K., Ringwalt, S., & Cate, D. (2012). States’ accountability and progress in serving young children with disabilities. 32(3), 151-163. doi: 10.1177/0271121411408119
Since the 2004 reauthorization of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), there has been a growing focus on improving the quality of programs for children with disabilities and measuring the results/outcomes of those programs. Across the country, IDEA Part C Programs for Infants and Toddlers and IDEA Part B, Section 619 Preschool Programs have been developing, implementing, and improving their accountability systems, and in spite of significant fiscal limitations, the states have produced meaningful data demonstrating both program improvement and positive outcomes for the children and families being served. This article uses trend data reported by the states over the past 4 years to provide a national picture of the progress they have made, the challenges they have faced, and the improvement strategies they have undertaken. The lessons they have learned are relevant to the broader early childhood community. A discussion about implications for the future is included.
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Maul, C., & Singer, G. (2009). “just good different things” specific accommodations families make to positively adapt to their children with developmental disabilities. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 29(3), 155-170. doi: 10.1177/0271121408328516
Fifteen parents and two grandparents of children with developmental disabilities (DD) were interviewed to discover common themes regarding specific ways in which they devised positive adaptations to their everyday routines to accommodate the needs of their children with DD, how they decided upon the accommodations, and how much help they felt they received from professionals in making the accommodations. Interviews were audiorecorded and transcribed. Using grounded theory methods, the authors analyzed the transcriptions to determine common themes, which were found to be (a) lost opportunities replaced by new opportunities, (b) the family as a team, (c) time adaptations, (d) the idiosyncratic nature of family accommodations, and (e) an insistence on normalcy, accompanied by a resistance to stigma. Participants most commonly described their decision-making process as “trial and error,” and the majority felt professionals had given them good help in making accommodations.
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Caldwell, J. (2008). Health and access to health care of female family caregivers of adults with developmental disabilities. Journal of Disability Policy Studies, 19(2), 68-79. doi: 10.1177/1044207308316093
The physical and mental health status of women providing care to adult relatives with developmental disabilities was compared with that of the general female population in the United States. There were no differences on physical health across four age groups. However, the mental health of midlife caregivers (45—54 years of age) and older caregivers (older than 65 years) was worse than national norms. This may be associated with two key periods: transitions to adulthood of individuals with disabilities and transitions when aging caregivers are no longer able to provide care. Greater unmet needs for services contributed to poorer mental health. Poorer access to health care also contributed to poorer mental and physical health. Unmet needs for services and out-of-pocket disability-related expenses appeared to pose difficulties for working age caregivers in affording the financial costs of health care for themselves.
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Sheppard, L., & Unsworth, C. (2010). Developing skills in everyday activities and self-determination in adolescents with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Remedial and Special Education,32(5), 393-405. doi: 10.1177/0741932510362223
Autonomous functioning, an essential characteristic of self-determined people, has been categorized behaviorally according to everyday activities in Self & Family Care (SFC), Life Management (LM), Recreation/Leisure (RL), and Social/Vocational (SV) skills. The effectiveness of a short-term (8–10 weeks) educational residential program to improve skills in these categories of everyday activities in adolescents with intellectual and developmental disabilities was examined, and the effect on participant self-determination was also measured. Results from this single-group, quasi-experimental research with three data collection points (n = 31 from five cohorts over an 18-month period) found that participants’ skills in SFC/LM and RL had improved significantly with large effect sizes at postprogram and 3-month follow-up. Skills needed for SV activities did not show the same level of improvement, but participant-rated self-determination scores (as measured by the AIR Self-Determination Scales) improved significantly with small effect size at postprogram and moderate effect size at follow-up.
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Rose, J., Perks, J., Fidan, M., & Hurst, M. (2010). Assessing motivation for work in people with developmental disabilities. Journal of Intellectual Disabilities, 14(2), 147-155. doi: 10.1177/1744629510382067
Factors that might influence motivation for work have been neglected in previous investigations in the process of people with intellectual disabilities finding employment. This article describes the development of The Work Readiness Scale which was largely adapted from The Readiness to Change Questionnaire.
A structured interview was conducted with 69 participants who had developmental and intellectual disabilities while at the supported employment agency or vocational training centre in a large city in England. A subgroup of 43 individuals completed the questionnaire again about two weeks later. A member of staff who knew the person well was asked to independently rate the motivational level of the individual. The questionnaire seems to have reasonable psychometric properties and may have utility in assessing individuals for work and designing appropriate training to find work.
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Schaaf, R., Toth-Cohen, S., Johnson, S., Outten, G., & Benevides, T. (2011). The everyday routines of families of children with autism examining the impact of sensory processing difficulties on the family.Autism, 15(3), 373-389. doi: 10.1177/1362361310386505
The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the lived experience of how sensory-related behaviors of children with autism affected family routines. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with four primary caregivers regarding the meaning and impact of their child’s sensory-related behaviors on family routines that occurred inside and outside the home. Findings indicated that sensory behaviors are one factor that limited family participation in work, family and leisure activities; and that parents employed specific strategies to manage individual and family routines in light of the child’s sensory-related behaviors. This information has important implications for professionals who work with families of children with autism to decrease caregiver stress and to increase life satisfaction for the child and family.
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Brobst, J., Clopton, J., & Hendrick, S. (2008). Parenting children with autism spectrum disorders the couple’s relationship. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 24(1), 38-49. doi: 10.1177/1088357608323699
Balancing the roles of parent and partner is challenging for most people and may be especially challenging when extra time and effort are required in the parenting role. The current research compared 25 couples whose children have autism spectrum disorders (ASD) with 20 couples whose children do not have developmental disorders. Comparisons were made for both stressor (e.g., child’s behavior problems) and relational (e.g., relationship satisfaction) variables. Results indicated that parents of children with ASD experienced more intense child behavior problems, greater parenting stress, and lower relationship satisfaction. In contrast, the two groups of couples did not differ on perceived spousal support, respect for their partners, and commitment. The implications of the findings of this study and other related research are discussed.
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Pyle, N., & Wexler, J. (2011). Preventing students with disabilities from dropping out. Intervention in School and Clinic, 47(5), 283-289. doi: 10.1177/1053451211430118
Schools are tasked with the challenge of not only raising graduation rates for students with and without disabilities but also preparing these students to meet college and career readiness standards. Recent studies and reviews of the literature suggest promising practices to ensure that educators meet these goals by increasing students’ engagement in school. This article provides an overview of the research on evidence-based drop-out prevention practices organized within the framework of the six recommendations provided by the Institute of Education Sciences. After an explanation of each drop-out prevention intervention component, implications for practice are highlighted, with particular emphasis on academic and behavioral practices that can be readily implemented to prevent students with and without learning and behavioral disabilities from dropping out of school.
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Wings for Autism™, a program of The Arc, is an airport “rehearsal” specially designed for individuals with autism spectrum disorders, their families and aviation professionals. Designed to alleviate some of the stress that families who have a child with autism experience when traveling by air, the program provides families with the opportunity to practice entering the airport, obtain boarding passes, go through security and board a plane. National expansion of Wings for Autism is being administered by The Arc of the United States and in the future will be available for implementation at airports throughout the country.
View the Website – Wings for Autism