This study compared perceptions of parents of children with and without disabilities attending an inclusive preschool program. One hundred and forty-nine participants in four states completed the Likert survey. The survey is a modification of a questionnaire designed by Rafferty, Boettcher and Griffin (2001) and used in New York State. The survey examined parental characteristics and the impact they have on parental perceptions regarding inclusion and inclusive preschool programs. In addition, child variables (disability status, type, severity and category) were examined to determine their significance regarding parental perceptions.
Parents of children with and without disabilities support inclusion and inclusive preschool programs. This finding supports prior research indicating that parents are supportive of programs that allow children of all abilities to be educated together. However, parents of children with a disability perceived more risks associated with the impact of inclusion on children with disabilities, their families and the families of children without disabilities.
This study also found that the disability category of a child has an impact on the extent in which parents agree on appropriateness of an inclusive placement. The data revealed significant differences in parental perceptions of inclusion when examining the variable of ethnicity. Parents of children with Down syndrome were found to be more agreeable to inclusion and inclusive placements, in general as compare to parents of children with disabilities other than Down syndrome.
These findings warrant further research on perceptions of parents of children with specific disabilities, as the identification of children with disabilities and the need to provide quality inclusive preschool programs is increasing.
|Commitee:||Horm, Diane, Maiden, Jeff, O'Hair, Mary John, Vaughn, Courtney|
|School:||The University of Oklahoma|
|Department:||Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies|
|School Location:||United States -- Oklahoma|
|Source:||DAI-A 70/05, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Early childhood education, Special education|
|Keywords:||Disabilities, Inclusion, Parent perceptions, Parents, Preschool, Preschool children, Rise School|
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