Helping Parents Navigate Early Childhood Special Education

Date of Award

Winter 12-18-2020

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Special Education


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Marci Glessner


Parent/teacher collaboration, building trust with families


Early childhood, spanning from birth to eight years old, is one of the most critical learning times for a child. There are many milestones that a child is expected to achieve during this time, including being able to feed themselves, as well as know their colors, letters, numbers, and shapes. They are also expected to be able to know how to tie their shoes and have their toileting needs met on their own. Some children meet these developmental milestones when expected while others may need more time. As educators, when we see that this development is happening at a slower pace, we will try to determine how to help this growth along. We start the process by administering a screening assessment, with the child’s parent or guardian’s permission. This assessment usually targets learning in the areas of speech and language, social emotional, fine motor, gross motor, academic or cognitive skills, and adaptive skills. For some children the results may signal eligibility for Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) services. When this happens, parents often have many questions. What is Early Childhood Special Education? What does this mean for the child? What does it look like?

This portfolio, consisting of eight artifacts, is designed to address questions that parents might have and explains paperwork and services that can support parents and children. Additionally, the artifacts address the transition from Early Intervention services to Early Childhood Special Education services, to special education services in an elementary school setting.

Abstract only: No full text available.