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Successful Transition Into School-Based Special Education Services:

Considering Unique Urban Factors of Diverse Families

Heike Rüdenauer, Dipl. SP.(FH), M.S., M.Ed. - University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Successful Transition Into School-Based Special Education Services: Considering Unique Urban Factors of Diverse Families Heike Rüdenauer,

ruedenau@unlv.nevada.edu

Successful Transition Into School-Based Special Education Services: Considering Unique Urban Factors of Diverse Families Heike Rüdenauer,
Motivation and Problem • Personal Experience: Early intervention providers often unsure or not purposeful in their
Motivation and Problem
Personal Experience: Early intervention
providers often unsure or not purposeful in their
transition planning.
Literature: Many families feel ill-prepared,
disconnected, and discouraged. This is especially
true for families with culturally and linguistically
diverse backgrounds. 1, 13, 22, 28
Literature: We need to start considering transition
factors related to linguistic and cultural diversity,
and low income situations. 14, 15, 25, 26, 27
Literatue & Previous Research
Collaborative
Keeping timelines
Transition
practices in
the last
decades
Oriented on disability-
related needs
Family friendly
• Individualized
School readiness
Demographic
changes in
Social skills
1
, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 24, 32, 33, 34
recent years 11, 17, 18, 20, 23, 28,
29, 31
Increase of students
Transition
success for
diverse urban
families? 1,22,28
with linguistically and
culturally diverse
families 18, 29
Increase of percentage
of people living in urban
Do we miss
areas 17, 23, 29
something
Increase of percentage
?
of low income families
in urban families 17, 23, 29
What are “Urban Factors”?
Cultural Diversity
Linguistic
Diversity
Cultural barriers
• Cultural barriers 11, 14, 17, 18, 22, 23, 31
11, 14, 17, 18, 22, 23, 31
• • Language Language barriers barriers 11, 18, 22, 29, 35
11, 18, 22, 29, 35
• • Time Time poverty poverty
• • Transportation Transportation challenges challenges
• • High High transiency transiency rates, rates, instable instable
Low Socio-
economic Status
housing housing
• • Frequent Frequent switch switch of of providers providers and and
service service locations locations 11, 15, 17, 23, 26
11
15
17
23
26
• • High High teacher teacher turnover turnover
• • High High support support staff staff turnover turnover
Urban School
Districts
• • Possibly Possibly more more new new teachers teachers
• • Teacher Teacher demographics demographics don’t don’t match match
students
students 2, 21, 30, 31
2, 21, 30, 31
Hypothesis
Transition practices may not
have been adapted to
demographic changes of the
population we serve. Therefore,
diverse urban families may not
receive the high quality
services they need.
In democratic In a a democratic society society we we to ensure ensure high high we
In
democratic
In a a democratic
society
society
we
we
to
ensure
ensure
high
high
we need need quality quality
transition
transition
services
services
to for for
all
all
families
families
we
serve.
serve.
Societal Relevance? The So-What!
Importance of Successful Transitions
IF Hypothesis were to be true ...
9, 12, 15, 16, 19, 20, 22, 25, 33, 34
6, 15, 28, 31, 35
Increased family involvement
Lack of appropriate services for already
Better family-teacher-communication
traditionally underserved families
Increased positive outcomes (academic & non-
Lack of appropriate services for vulnerable
academic)
families who need the most support 6
Avoiding inappropriate special education referrals
Unacceptable additional risks for school failure
Research Question
How do diverse urban families experience their young child's
transition into school-based special education services?
Purpose of THIS Research: Pilot Study
Do Urban
Experiences // Recommendations
Factors
come into
Start
Family Satisfaction and Opinion
play
With
at all?
Family
Experiences
Patterns across Urban Factors
28
Design and Methods 3, 4
• Cross-sectional research design
• Family survey
• Includes quantitative-like items
(demographics, income, culture,
transiency)
• Includes qualitative-like items
(open ended questions, experiences
of families)
• Invited: 120 (All families fulfilling criteria in ES)
• Expected return rate/n: 14-18 surveys
• Criteria: Caregiver/guardian of a child in
school-based special education services
• Urban elementary school
• Demographics similar to the U.S. average
• Final participants: Volunteers from the pool
of invited families. TBD
the
problem
worth
Design Design
Sample Sample
further
investigatio
• Invitation and consent
• Paper-pencil-survey
• Pre-stamped return envelopes
• Follow-up letter
• All in English and Spanish
Materials Materials
Procedures Procedures
Is n?
Invitation and survey distribution in
homework folder
Giving consent: complete survey, return.
No consent: disregard survey
After approximately 1 week: Follow-up letter
for increasing participation
Analysis of returned surveys
Data Collection Tool: Family Survey
Demographics & General
Urban Factors
Tool Details
Validity
Age, race, gender-identity
Language, culture
Anonymous, voluntary
Supported by literature,
Age of child at transition,
Income
HIPAA and FERPA compliant
Content validity check
Transition details of child
Transiency, moves
English & Spanish
(professionals and families)
Prior services
Provider changes
Duration: 30 – 45 min
Test run
Analysis
Qualitative-type Information
Compare with current transition
recommendations
Quantitative-type
information
- Descriptive statistics
- Lean coding of data
- Determining overarching themes
- Determining frequency of themes
Combinations of urban factors
and negative experiences
Look At
DIFFERENT research Where are we now? 1. Literature review 2. Define target population 3. Develop tool
DIFFERENT
research
Where are we now?
1. Literature review
2.
Define target population
3.
Develop tool
4.
Tool validity
5.
Find appropriate research site
6.
Become sponsored
7.
IRB University
8.
Human research permission from school district
9.
Involve teachers
10.Distribute surveys
11.Distribute follow-up
12.Collect responses
13.Analyze responses
Potential Outcomes
14.Draw conclusions regarding further research
15.Report back to university and school district
YES, results indicate that a lack of
16.Prepare future research as indicated
consideration of culturally relevant
practices and urban factors may impact
families’ transition experiences
NO, results indicate that there are no
apparent connections between urban
factors, lack of culturally relevant practices,
and families’ transition experiences
Future Research
• Expand sample
• Explore regional differences
• Explore differences of transition
practices between districts and states
• Adding interviews and observations
Implication for Teacher Education
IF data indicates need for increased attention to
culturally relevant transition practices and urban factors:
 increase of classes for multicultural awareness
 Increase of classes for serving linguistically rich
families
 Including content about impact of financial hardships
and poverty on families, students, and academic
needs into teacher education programs
 New approaches need to be implemented in early
intervention programs and school-based programs
 Increased exchange and contact between direct
service providers in early intervention and school-
based special educators / transition teams
Limitations
Unfit
Tool Needs
Incorrect
Sample
Improvement
Hypothesis
References and Resources
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Successful Transition Into School-Based Special Education Services: Considering Unique Urban Factors of Diverse Families Heike Rüdenauer,

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