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Parents and Families of Students With Special Needs

Parents and Families of Students With Special Needs
Collaborating Across the Age Span

Edited by:

January 2017 | 344 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Parents and Families of Students With Special Needs: Collaborating Across the Age Span teaches students the skills they need to effectively collaborate with parents and families to ensure a child's success in the classroom. The text takes a lifespan approach with a special emphasis on the critical transition points in a child’s life. Information is provided on what can be seen at each stage of an individual with disabilities’ development, and addresses the concerns and needs that families may have during these unique phases of growth. The authors provide an in-depth discussion of how parents and families are affected by particular disabilities, family system theory, the laws that affect individuals with disabilities, and assessments for individuals with disabilities. Chapters written by academics and professionals who are also parents of students with special needs bring a diverse range of voices into the narrative. 

Tara Guierrero
Defining the Family
Vanessa Johnson
Family Systems Theory
Barry Bullis, Samuel Zimmerman
Families of Children At-Risk for Disability
Natalie Williams, Tori Lybbert
The Professionals and What Are Their Roles?
Vicki McGinley
Family Assessment and Research Based Interventions
Shirley Dawson, Tracie McLaughlin
The Laws that Support Families
Brenda Eaton
Birth through Age 5
Melissa Hudson
The Primary School Years
Melina Alexander, Desna Bergold
Secondary School Years
Brian Freedman, Laura Eisenman, Cathy Cowin, Sean Roy
Post School
Mary Houser
Prominent Disabilities Across the Lifespan
Kerry Smith
Siblings of Children with Disabilities
Tara S. Guerriero
Chapter 1 Defining the Family
The Role of the Family in a Child’s Education

Identifying and Defining Children and the Family

Childhood Living Arrangements

Type of Families

Unique Familial Circumstances that may Influence Education

Educating all Children

Sandra Sepulveda-Kozakowski
Chapter 2: Family Systems Theory
What is Family Systems Theory?

The Family Identity

Family Subsystems




Adaptability/ Flexibility


The Family Life Cycle

Factors Impacting Family Systems

External Systems

Coordination of Care

Parenting Relationships

Culture, Race, and Ethnicity

Spotlight on Children in Foster Care

Barry Bullis, Samuel Zimmerman
Chapter 3: Families of Children At-risk for Disability
Why Study Risk?

Benefits of Identifying Risk

Definition of Risk

Categories of Risk

Children Living in Poverty

English Learners

Students Experiencing Marginalization

Gifted Children

Developmental Follow-up

Shirley Dawson, Tracie McLaurghlan, Denise Adams
Chapter 4: Laws that Support Families

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)


Section 504

Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act

Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974

Natalie A. Williams, Kristin L. Nelson, Tori J. Lybert
Chapter 5: The Professionals and Their Roles
Professionals of the Multidisciplinary Team

Benefits of Partnerships

Family-Staff Relationships

Peer Relationships

Building and Sustaining Partnerships

Interpersonal Communication for Partnerships

The Reality of Criticism

Assertiveness Versus Aggressive Communication

Resolving Conflicts

Vicki A. McGinley, Ieva Margevica
Chapter 6: Assessment to Research-Based Intervention: Providing Families Support
Assessment History and Family Involvement

Working with Families to Understand Assessment

Technical Assessment Terminology

Lifespan Assessment

Transition from Part C to Part B

Primary School Years

Secondary School Years: Transition Assessment

Specialized Assessment and Disability Related Assessments

Disability Specific Assessments

Alternative Assessments/Authentic Assessments for Children with Disabilities

The Assessment Report/The Evaluation Report

Making Instructional Decisions for Intervention

Amy F. Conner Love, Lorie Taylor, Lisa P. Turner, Richard Sabousky
Chapter 7: Siblings of Children with Disabilities
Special Relationship

Importance of Siblings and Significance in Today’s Society

Lifelong Relationship

Interactional Dynamics and Relationship Patterns

Children and Adolescent Siblings

Adult Siblings


Sibling Effects


Characteristics of Sibling Without Disability

Sibling Interactions

Coping and Stress Styles

Strategies to Help Siblings

Siblings as Teachers

Ways to Establish Sibling Teaching Program

Social Interactions

Counseling Siblings

Mary A. Houser
Chapter 8: Specific Disabilities Across the Lifespan
Disability Related to Birth Through Age 5

Disability Related to Primary Years

Disability Related to Secondary School Years

Discovering the Presence of a Disability

Selected Disabilities and their Impact on Families

The Benefits of Home-School Collaboration: Teacher and Families working together

Brenda Eaton, Melina Alexander
Chapter 9: Birth Through Age 5
Children From Birth to Age 3

Early Intervention

Part C of the IDEA

Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP)

Members of the Multidiscilinary Team

Provider(s) of Early Intervention Services

Early Intervention Programming

Members of the Multidisciplinary Team

Content of the IFSP

Outcomes of Early Intervention

Children Ages 3 to 5

Children Ages 3 to 5 With Disabilities

Preschool Programs

Supporting Families with Children With Disabilities Ages Birth Through 5

Melissa E. Hudson
Chapter 10: The Primary School Years
Communicating with Families

Transition to Elementary School

The Individualized Education Program Plan (IEP) Process and Document

The Individualized Education Program Plan

Working Together – The IEP Team and the Collaborative Team Model

Collaborative Team Model

Melina Alexander, Desna Bergold
Chapter 11: Secondary School Years

Early Adolescence

Middle Adolescence

Late Adolescence

Adolescents with Disabilities

Families of Adolescent Students with Disabilities

The Multidisciplinary Team During the Secondary School Years

Roles of Members of the Multidisciplinary Team

Issues Addressed by Multidisciplinary Team During the Secondary School Years

Potential Needs of the Family During the Secondary Years

Brian Freedman, Laura Eisenman, Cathy Cowin, Sean Roy
Chapter 12: Postschool
Post School Outcomes

Predictors of Postschool Success

Age of Majority

Entitlement Versus Eligibility

Understanding Concerns, Knowing Options, and Creating Partnerships

Current Statistics and Optimistic Trends

Career Development

Employment Settings

Rights, Accommodations and Self-Disclosure

Federal Benefits

Common Questions from Families Regarding Specific Issues Related to Employment

Strategies for Partnering with Families

Postsecondary Education

Postsecondary Education Options

From Entitlement to Eligibility


Social Life and Campus Participation

Financial Factors

Strategies for Partnering With Families

Independent and Interdependent Living

Development of Life Skills

Support From State and Federal Government

Types of Residences

Social Relationships and Community Participation

Strategies for Partnering With Families



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Key features
  • This book has a particular emphasis on working with families across various schooling experiences from early intervention to post high school.
  • Case studies provide specific examples of children with disabilities and their families and questions for the reader to answer.
  • Learning Objectives and Chapter Summaries help reinforce key concepts throughout each chapter.
  • Additional Resources, such as links to readings, websites, and blogs, in each chapter provide students with materials and insights they can use in their classrooms and schools.
  • The book acts as a useful reference for professionals working with family members.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 10

Chapter 12

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