Walker, S., Dunbar, S., Meldrum, K., Whiteford, C., Carrington, S., Hand, K., Berthelsen, D. & Nicholson, J. (2012). The transition to school of children with developmental disabilities: Views of parents and teachers. Australian Journal of Early Childhood,37(3), 22-29. Australia: Early Childhood Australia Inc..
THE TRANSITION FROM EARLY INTERVENTION programs to inclusive school settings presents a range of social challenges for children with developmental disabilities. In Queensland, in the year of transition to school, many children with developmental disabilities attend an Early Childhood Development Program for two to three days each week and also begin attendance in a mainstream program, with the latter increasing to full-time attendance during the year. Quantitative and qualitative data was collected by questionnaires regarding 62 children participating in the Transition to School Project. Their parents and teachers were asked for their perceptions of the success of the transition process and the benefits and challenges of inclusion. Both parents and teachers saw a range of benefits to children from their inclusion in 'regular' classrooms, with parents noting the helpfulness of teachers and their support for inclusion. Challenges noted by parents included the school's lack of preparation for their child's particular developmental needs, especially in terms of the physical environment, while teachers reported challenges in meeting the needs of these children within the context and resources of the classroom. Parents were more likely than teachers to view the transition as easy. Correlational analyses indicated that teachers were more likely to view the transition as easy when they felt the child was appropriately placed in a 'regular' classroom. Findings from this project can inform the development of effective transition-to-school programs in the early school years for children with developmental disabilities
Institute for Learning Sciences and Teacher Education
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