Date of Award


Document Type

Non Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Education




Early Childhood Education

Capstone Instructor

Barbara Schoenbeck

Second Reader

Lacey Wellens


early childhood education, children with special needs, parent involvement


Families of children with special needs often encounter tremendous and frustrating difficulties in accessing appropriate services and supports unless they are engaged in a close, constructive alliance with professionals who interact as reciprocal and respectful partners. Supporting parent involvement, participation, and decision-making in their child's education positively impacts children with special needs and empowers families. Research has shown that parent involvement is directly related to educational outcomes of children and is necessary for the success of the child. Early childhood programs encourage parent involvement and develop family and school partnerships as part of a quality family support system. Implementing a family support system based on effective communication and collaboration between families, professionals, and community agencies will result in quality services and support for families and children with special needs.


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