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Learning environments for special needs preschool children Tobias, Eliana R. 1989

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LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS FOR SPECIAL NEEDS PRESCHOOL CHILDREN by ELIANA R. TOBIAS Early Childhood Certificate, University of Chile, 1966 B.Ed., University of Oregon, 1968 M.A., Teachers College, Columbia University, 1969 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF EDUCATION in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Centre for the Study of Curriculum and Instruction) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA April, 1989 © ELIANA R. TOBIAS, 1989 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Department of ^ £ A DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT This study looked at four types of learning environments for developmentally delayed 3-5 year old preschool children, namely segregated programs, reversed mainstreamed programs, day care centres, and nursery schools in order to describe and analyze the experiences children have in these settings. Twenty preschool classroom environments were analyzed, forty children were observed to obtain child-child interaction data, twenty teachers were observed and interviewed in order to gather information on teacher-child interaction and type and amount of support services available to the programs and sixty parents of special needs children were interviewed to obtain information on parental involvement. The analysis of the environment indicated that statistically significant differences existed in the data between the scores obtained by the different types of centres. Higher scores were obtained by segregated and reversed mainstreamed programs than day care centres. No significant statistical differences were found between types of settings for child-child interaction and teacher-child interaction, although there were large differences among centres within a type. Special needs children across settings were observed mostly in parallel, solitary, and associative play. Little cooperative and dramatic play was observed across types of settings. Teachers in all types of settings spent a high portion of their time talking to children on a one-to-one basis. Teachers in day care centres spent significantly more time talking to children about matters related to misbehavior rather than academics. Little use of praise and corrective feedback was observed by teachers of special needs preschool children. ii Greater availability and higher expectations for parental involvement existed both in segregated and reversed mainstreamed programs than in day care centres for parents of special needs children. Support services for preschool programs were very low in the community the research sampled. iii T A B L E OF CONTENTS LIST OF TABLES vi Chapter I. INTRODUCTION 1 A. The Field of Early Childhood Special Education 1 B. Problem Statement 5 C. Conceptual Framework 6 D. Organization of the Thesis 12 Chapter II. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE 14 A. Introduction 14 B. Programs for Homogeneous Groups of Special Needs Children 16 C. Programs for Heterogeneous Special Needs Children 19 D. Mainstreaming 28 E. Parents and Families of Special Needs Children 35 1. Parents as Teachers 35 2. Needs of Parents of Special Needs Preschoolers 37 F. Conclusion 42 Chapter III. METHOD 43 A. Hypotheses 43 B. Design 44 C. Sampling 44 D. Instruments 46 1. Inter-observer Reliability 47 2. Systematic Interviewing 48 E. Protocol 48 F. Pilot Case Study 49 G. Data Analysis 50 Chapter IV. RESULTS 52 A. Hypothesis 1: Structural Dimensions of the Early Childhood Programs 52 B. Hypothesis 2: Child - Child Interactions 54 C. Hypothesis 3: Teacher-Child Interaction 56 D. Hypothesis 4: Parental Involvement 58 E. Hypothesis 5: Support Services 66 F. Summary of the Results 68 Chapter V. DISCUSSION 69 A. Structural Dimensions of the Early Childhood Programs .... 69 B. Child-Child Interaction 73 C. Teacher-Child Interaction 76 D. Awareness and Priorities of Parental Roles 78 E. Support Services 81 F. Limitations of the Study 83 G. Conclusion 84 iv Chapter VI. IMPLICATIONS OF THE STUDY 89 A. Educational Implications , 89 B. Research Implications 96 REFERENCES 101 APPENDIX A: ONEWAY ANALYSES OF VARIANCE ON THE SUBSCALES OF THE EARLY CHILDHOOD ENVIRONMENT RATING SCALE BY TYPE OF PRESCHOOL SETTING 115 APPENDIX B: REPEATED MEASURES ANALYSES OF VARIANCE OF FREE P L A Y 118 APPENDIX C: REPEATED MEASURES ANALYSES OF VARIANCE OF TEACHER TALK 120 APPENDIX D: PROTOCOLS AND INSTRUMENTS 123 v LIST OF TABLES Table 1: Analysis of Variance of Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale for Type of Preschool Centre 53 Table 2: Percentage of Time (Means) Children Spend in Types of Social Play by Type of Preschool Centre 55 Table 3: Percentage of Time (Means) Children Spend in Types of Intellectual Play by Type of Preschool Centre 55 Table 4: Percentage of Time (Means) Teachers Talk to Children by Group Size and Type of Preschool Centre 57 Table 5: Percentage of Time (Means) Teachers Initiate or Respond Verbally by Type of Preschool Centre 57 Table 6: Teacher Talk: Who, What, and How by Percentage of Time Composite 59 Table 7: Breakdown of How Teachers Talk (Mean Percentage of Time) by Type of Preschool Centre 59 Table 8: Parental Activities Available to Parents 61 Table 9: Frequencies of Awareness of Parental Involvement Activities 62 Table 10: Comparisons on Parent Involvement Ratings 63 Table 11: Correlations Between Parent and Teacher Importance Ratings of Parental Involvement Activities in Four Types of Programs 64 Table 12: Parent and Teacher Rated Top Five Most Important Parental Involvement Activities 64 Table 13: Percentages of Teachers Offering Parental Involvement Activities in Four Types of Programs 65 Table 14: Analysis of Variance of Support Services Provided to Special Needs Preschoolers by Type of Preschool Centre 67 Table 15: Teacher Ratings of Support Services Provided by Type of Preschool Centre 68 vi CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTION A. THE FIELD OF EARLY CHILDHOOD SPECIAL EDUCATION The importance of meeting the educational needs of preschool children who are physically, cognitively or emotionally handicapped has received much attention in the past decade. In the United States, many states require the provision of services for children from three to five years of age, and some states require that some infants receive services from birth on. The Handicapped Children's Early Education Assistance Act (P.L. 90-538), passed in the United States in 1968, was the impetus for the development of many experimental early childhood special education model programs. These programs provide comprehensive services for handicapped children from birth to eight years of age. In Canada, while the Ministry of National Health and Welfare (1978) has published recommended guidelines for the education of special needs preschool children, each province is responsible for developing appropriate services. There are no federal policies which are specifically addressed to the needs of this special population of children, because according to Canada's constitution, education falls exclusively within the jurisdiction of the provinces. Among the major questions in the field of early childhood special education are: what special education services are most appropriate for young children? and what are the most efficient ways of providing such services? Most research in the field of early childhood special education has been conducted in the areas of: 1. development of assessment instruments for early identification and monitoring of growth, development, and learning in handicapped children; 1 INTRODUCTION / 2 2. development of curricular and instructional strategies for skill acquisition; 3. assessment of the performance of children in these programs on standarized measures of language, cognition, motor, and academic achievement. Despite increasing research in this area, there remains a dearth of information about: 1. the impact of the physical and human environments on handicapped preschool children; 2. the effect of the early childhood special education program on the parents; 3. the interrelationships between the variables that affect mainstreaming young children into regular preschool programs; 4. the forms and features of early childhood special education in British Columbia. Relatively little research has been conducted on the child's daily experiences and activities in special education preschool programs. There have been few attempts to link the measurements of developmental outcomes with the interactive processes of the preschool environment and the child's development. Little is understood about the interactions of the physical and human environment and the child's activities and performance. Educators need to identify the important features of these environmental settings in the child's life in order to plan appropriate educational objectives. Environment is currently viewed not as a static phenomenon but as a process. Bronfenbrenner (1979) states that "psychological processes change as a function of a person's exposure to and interaction with the environment." (p. 9) Belsky (1984) claims that children's day to day experiences have an impact on child development. Researchers involved with exceptional children believe that "a INTRODUCTION / 3 radical alteration of the educational environment of a handicapped child may create new interaction patterns that could significantly affect the course of development" (Guralnick, 1982, p. 457). Program planners such as Thurman and Widerstrom (1985) have suggested that educational objectives must no longer only emphasize the individual child, but must look at changes in his environment and social system. Research is addressing the role of parents in their child's development. Studies have been reported on the effect of having a handicapped child in the family, on training parents to be their child's teacher, on the types and amount of family involvement in early childhood programs and the factors that influence parent participation. Studies reporting practices of parental involvement have focused on the parent as a program component which has been examined in isolation. These studies have not attended to the interrelationships that exist between the parent and the child in the intervention process. The integration of special needs children into mainstream early childhood education settings is a focus of recent research and debate. There is little agreement to date regarding the optimal environment for young special needs children. Most studies of integration focus almost exclusively on the social interaction of preschoolers. The research has reported conflicting findings on the social effects of mainstreaming. Some studies conclude that positive social integration does not occur by simply bringing children together. Other studies have found that when the environment was arranged in order to promote integration, teacher directiveness in fact hindered social interactions between handicapped and non-handicapped children (O'Connnell, 1984). Researchers focusing on the mainstreamed mileu have studied narrow parameters. They have mainly INTRODUCTION / 4 looked at changes in the areas of social and language development, not considering them in the context of the type of program, the families involved and the community where the program is operating. In the province of British Columbia, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Social Services and Housing, the Ministry of Education are involved with the education, health, and welfare of preschoolers through the Provincial Child Care Facilities Licensing Board. This agency has set up minimum guidelines for the provision of services for special needs preschoolers. It is important to note that the guidelines state that the preferred service delivery model is one of integration. Tobias and Kendall (1984) found that there are no assurances that preschool handicapped children will receive comprehensive services. There are no operational plans in effect which delineate a procedure for assessment, diagnosis, and service delivery. There is a fragmentation and an unevenness of service delivery systems with a lack of operational plans in place to link the variety of components needed to provide services to special needs children. A number of different types of preschool programs are available for handicapped children which set up their environments according to how they interpret the child's needs. In the survey conducted by Tobias and Kendall (1984) of preschool programs which accepted special needs children in the Greater Vancouver area of British Columbia, three types of delivery services were identified: a) programs which served only special needs children (segregated programs), b) facilities where fifty percent or more of the youngsters enrolled are expectional, but non-handicapped children atttend as well (reversed mainstreamed programs), and c) programs which serve mainly non-handicapped children but which also accepted between one and six special needs children into INTRODUCTION / 5 their setting (day care centres and nursery school programs). Thus we can conclude that there are a number of drawbacks to the current research in the field: 1. Most efficacy studies report almost exclusively child outcome measures to evaluate the impact of intervention programs. Little has been reported about the children's daily experiences. The literature on environment basically defines environment as the immediate setting, it does not consider it as a dynamic and interactive social and nonsocial milieu which extends to various settings; 2. The parent involvement component has been researched in isolation not considering the relationship that exist simultaneously between the parents, the child, and the preschool; 3. The literature on mainstreaming has analyzed children focusing on the immediate setting and has produced conflicting findings; 4. In British Columbia services are fragmented and little is known about the impact of early childhood programs on the children, their families and the community. B. PROBLEM STATEMENT Little is known regarding the impact of early childhood special education programs on the child and the family. An ecological investigation was conducted in order to study what experiences are offered to special needs children and their families in four types of settings identified by Tobias and Kendall (1984) as: segregated, reversed mainstreamed, integrated day care centres, and nursery schools. The investigation randomly selected programs from each of the categories INTRODUCTION / 6 and collected data about the daily experiences, activities, and interactions of individual children, teachers, and parents in the context of programs which have different philosophies and composition. An analysis of the program types formed the basis for identifying and contrasting program variables across different types of preschool settings, in order to explain how the settings affect children's behaviors and contribute towards parental involvement. The purpose of the study was to: 1. Describe the experiences children have in four different preschool settings in order to address the question: how do social structure variables (i.e. number of special needs children served, adult-child ratio) and physical structure variables (i.e. furnishings, materials) influence process variables? (i.e. daily experiences and interactions). 2. Describe the type and degree of parental involvement, perceptions, and satisfaction in the four types of preschool settings and the differences which may exist between them. 3. Analyze what salient characteristics are unique to each setting within a range of mainstreamed programs, why they exist, and how the differences between the settings are best explained. C. CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK The field of early childhood special education is one which has recently been recognized as a unique discipline. It has been constituted by the integration of the fields of early childhood and special education. Early childhood education which refers to programs for children birth through six years of age, has contributed with its philosophies, historical INTRODUCTION / 7 developments, and curricula. Early childhood education has been concerend with the education of children in group settings. Its practices have emanated from an understanding of the organismic and environmental needs of children. It has focused on the importance and uniqueness of childhood by understanding the developmental processes in all areas of growth. It has promoted a child-centered orientation and set guidelines for classroom settings which encourage problem-solving, creativity, independence, socialization through a variety of interesting and challenging activities and developmental materials which the child explores through play. Early childhood education practices have emanated and changed over time influenced by scientific, political, and economic circumstances. How children learn has been of interest to philosophers and educators for many centuries. John A. Comenius in the 17th century, Johann H. Pestalozzi, and Friedrich Froebel of the 19th century laid the foundations for the implementation of group programs for young children. They were the first to create materials and promote stimulation strategies to be used by parents in the home and teachers in centre based settings. Maria Montessori in the early 1900s enriched the field further as she turned her attention to developing curricula for disadvantaged and mentally retarded children. Her principles and methods, the emphasis on an enriched and structured environment, and materials developed to promote independence and sequential learning through their self-correcting features continue to have an impact on education today (Standing, 1984). Early childhood education reached professional status in North America in the 1920s and 1930s. Nursery school, influenced by the ideas of John Dewey, became child-centered institutions where educators were concerned about the child's total development. The parent cooperative movement, which required a high level INTRODUCTION / 8 of parental participation and parent education became popular as well. University based laboratory nursery schools were established for the purpose of research and teacher training. Research emanating from this period of time contributed towards a better understanding of normal child development (Gordon and Browne, 1985). In the 1960s and 1970s research and service delivery programs in the field expanded due to the Head Start projects. These programs, which arose out of the "war on poverty" movement in the United States, took on a number of different features. Some were day long care programs, others half day programs, some were home-based, others centre-based. The main purpose behind the programs was to provide underpriviledged parents and young children with systematic and enriched experiences in order to enhance the attainment of skills important to children for school achievement. These programs based their goals and objectives on theoretical frameworks derived from the literature in the fields of education and psychology. They developed preschool models whose curricular content reflected a variety of theoretical issues. For example: Lavatelli (1970), Weikart, Rogers, Adcock and McClelland (1971) and Kamii and De Vries (1977) designed programs based on Piaget's theory of cognitive development. Skinner's operant model focusing on the effects that environmental reinforcers have on behavior influenced the Distar program (Bereiter and Engelmann, 1966) and Reynolds and Risley's program (1968). Psychoanalytic theory influenced Beller (1974), while Biber (1977) endorsed psychoanalytic and cognitive theory. The creation of such a wide number of programs as was developed during that decade made society aware of the importance of facilitating development in the early childhood years. Today under the early childhood umbrella we have a myriad of programs, INTRODUCTION / 9 including: day care centres serving both infants and preschoolers, infant stimulation programs ("mom and tot" programs), nursery school programs, home based programs (family day care, parent as teacher programs). Some programs are required to be licensed by the local governments, others are not. Programs offer children different experiences. Activities may range from custodial to educational. Instructional techniques also vary from program to program, from teacher directed ones to child centered ones. Caregiver training spans a range of preparation from University degrees to no formal preparation at all (Clarke-Stewart and Fein, 1983). Special education is concerned with children who differ from the average child. Society has reacted in a variety of ways towards individuals who have deviated from the expectations of the majority. They have been mistreated, ignored, and only lately educated. Some exceptional individuals began to receive services in the seventeenth century as mental retardation, emotional disturbances came under study and as techniques for teaching the blind and the deaf were developed. Special schools began to appear in the 1800s in Europe and North America and special classes within the public school systems developed in the early 1900s (Hewett, 1974). Traditionally, categorical labels have been used to refer to, to study, and to educate exceptional children. Categories have been used to describe the range of exceptionalities, their incidences, causes, identification, diagnosis, and treatment. The most prevalent categories have been the following: emotionally disturbed, children with learning disabilities, mentally handicapped, socially and economically disadvantaged, visually handicapped, hearing handicapped, speech and language handicapped, physically handicapped, and gifted children. INTRODUCTION / 10 Increasingly the term 'special needs' is one that has become more acceptable. It encompasses a variety of handicapping conditions as well as children at risk for problems. The term connotes the importance of viewing children as individuals whose development follows the same basic principles of behavior as those of regular children. Special needs children are viewed as having certain conditions that require modifications to their learning environment in order to facilitate their development and acquisition of skills. The field which once followed a medical model, i.e. looking at the child from a 'deficit' point of view, focusing on what he cannot do and the factors that are related to his handicapping condition, has shifted to focusing on the child's level of competence, and setting educational objectives based on his strengths and what is known about him. Special educators are concerned with understanding the present level of functioning of children with a wide range of abilities and providing them with opportunities to achieve their highest potential. Because of the complex picture that some special needs children may present, professionals of various backgrounds are involved in special education working directly with the student or indirectly through the teacher. A number of disciplines may be called upon at the time of diagnosis as well as during the intervention to work with the child and the family. Therapeutic techniques become an added component of the general curriculum. Special education is concerned with setting individualized goals and programs based on multidis.ciplinary diagnostic information. Consideration is given to children's level of functioning within their physical and social environment in order that programming be geared towards the achievement of success. Special education is concerned with the minimization of handicapping INTRODUCTION / 11 conditions by promoting a child's total development in the least restrictive environment. Wolfensberger (1972, 1984) has put forth the concept that human management services need to be guided by the principles of social role valorization or normalization. Normalization is a principle which should guide all levels in attempting to ensure that handicapped individuals are entitled to services which are as culturally normative as possible. The goals of normalization are the strengthening of the relationships between individuals considered devalued and the community. The principle of normalization suggests that handicapped individuals learn skills most efficiently in settings which encourage their acquisition. Simultaneously, non-handicapped individuals are most likely to show acceptance of the handicapped through positive interactions in ordinary community settings. In the past, the exceptional individual has been viewed as deviant. This negative connotation has shaped public attitudes and societal responsibilites towards this population. Today it is the responsibility of human service organizations to present, manage, address, label, and interpret individual persons in a manner which emphasizes their similarities to, rather than their differences from others. Wolfensberger therefore proposes that exceptional individuals need to be integrated into both the physical and social aspects at all levels of society so that they are perceived as valuable beings. This concept is reflected t ' in the trend towards mainstreaming handicapped children into regular settings. This type of educational practice normalizes the environment and process of education for the special needs child as well as enhancing the image of the handicapped child in the community. Early childhood special education programs have been designed keeping in mind the basic premises and goals of preschool programs and the needs of the INTRODUCTION / 12 exceptional child. Their purpose is to provide stimulating settings for young children who have been diagnosed as handicapped or are at developmental risk. Teachers in these settings identify contents of areas to be taught to each child and determine a match between the content and the child's needs and abilities. Special educators have devised a number of instructional strategies to facilitate the maintenance of skills and assure generalization to other settings. Pre-school children with handicapping conditions are served in a variety of centre based and home based programs, among them: preschool centres, developmental day care programs, hospital programs, and family day care centres. The aim of these programs is to focus on the child's total development considering the importance of normal developmental patterns of motor, language, cognitive, and psycho-social behavior through a child-centered approach (Neisworth and Bagnato, 1987). D. ORGANIZATION OF THE THESIS In this study data were collected from four different types of special needs early childhood programs (segregated, reversed mainstreamed, day care, and nursery) in order to obtain a better understanding of the experiences, activities, and interactions that take place in preschool settings. Observations of children and teachers were conducted in their natural environment. Various preschool settings were observed to assess how the special needs children were served. Space, furnishings, and materials available to children were observed as well as routine activities, amount of time spent in various curricular areas, amount of individualized instruction, groupings of children, teacher-child interactions, child play, support services available, parental involvement in the program, the general atmosphere, and tone of the program in order to begin to understand which INTRODUCTION / 13 settings promote effectiveness. In order to address these issues and to capture a more comprehensive perspective of preschool programs for handicapped children, this work was guided by a multi-methodological approach. Three observations instruments were used, namely The Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (Harms and Clifford, 1980), was used to obtain information on the settings; The Free Play Classification Scale (Higginbotham and Baker, 1980) was used to study children's actions and interactions; and a modification of the Five Minute Observation System (Stallings, 1977) was used to look at teacher child interactions. Systematic interviews of teachers and parents were conducted to assess parental involvement and support services available to programs. The data were analyzed using statistical techniques which allowed the exploration of the interactions among variables, in order to begin to understand complex interrelationships and their effects on children's programs. CHAPTER II. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE A. INTRODUCTION The field of early childhood education for the handicapped began to emerge as a distinct area of interest in the late 1960s. Although early intervention programs had been previously created to serve children at risk due to environmental, medical, and biological reasons, the Handicapped Children's Early Education Assistance Act (1968) in the United States was the impetus for the development of many model demonstration and research programs for preschool children with special needs. As the compensatory education programs for disadvantaged children initiated in the early 1960s by the U.S. government to counter the effects of poverty began to show the effectiveness of early intervention (Lazar and Darlington, 1982; Ramey and Campbell, 1979; Schweinhart and Weikart, 1980) researchers concerned with children with organically based disorders began studies to ascertain the benefits of early stimulation for this population. Subsequent investigations of these programs have attempted to document the extent to which various program components benefitted the children. With the passing of legislation in the United States (in 1975 P.L. 94-142 and P.L. 99-457) and increased public awareness of the potential benefits of early intervention, the literature continues to report about community programs for young handicapped preschoolers. Initially, programs documented the efficacy of intervention programs for homogeneous groups of handicapped chidren in segregated settings. The more recent trend has been to move away from providing services to categorical groups of children and to offer instruction and stimulation to children with a 14 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE / 15 range of abilities in the least restrictive environments. Attempts are made in programs not to label children in order to avoid the development of negative prejudices. These progrmas admit children who are functionally diverse. Programs have been developed to serve children in centre based settings, at home, or in a combination of the two. Researchers have recognized the importance of the early identification of handicapping conditions in order to refer children to intervention programs at the earliest possible age (Brooks-Gunn and Lewis, 1983; Frankenburg and. Camp, 1975; Lillie, 1977; McDaniels, 1977; Sheehan, 1982). It is usual for very young children and those living in rural areas to be served in home based programs, while those in the three to five year old range in more urban areas attend centre based programs. The term handicapped child which will be used in this thesis refers to a child with a developmental disability and is broadly defined as: a learning individual who needs more than average assistance in attaining the usual developmental goals (Ministry of National Health and Welfare, Canada, 1978). Programs for the deaf or hard of hearing, the blind or visually impaired, and the profoundly or severely mentally retarded preschoolers will not be included in this review. Included are children who have been diagnosed as developmentally delayed, learning disabled and or mildly to moderately mentally retarded. Preschool programs for special needs children have been characterized by their focus on understanding and affecting behavioral changes in the children. They have generated practical knowledge about various aspects of child development and special education to meet the unique needs of these populations. There is much documentation which describes the special facilities, equipment, REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE / 16 programs, and personnel which these children need. There are many descriptions of the responsibilities of multidisciplinary teams of professionals who provide appropriate assessments and therapies, as a methodology for working with children. The importance of ongoing multidimensional assessment for programming purposes is highlighted in the majority of projects. Programs have designed organized systems for assessment, program planning, and recording of the child's progress, which in turn are linked to intervention strategies (Bricker, 1982; Cook and Armbuster, 1983; Garwood and Fewell, 1983; Karnes, 1978; Lerner, Mardell and Czudnowski, 1981; Meisells, 1979; Shearer and Shearer, 1976). Parent education has been an important component in many early childhood special education programs. Projects have developed a variety of strategies for working with parents. The literature has reported parental participation in the planning, development, and evaluations, as well as in parent education and counseling. B. PROGRAMS FOR HOMOGENEOUS GROUPS OF SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN Some of the most commonly reported programs for a restricted population of children have been those for Down's syndrome children. Numerous studies have been designed to compare the progress of Down's syndrome children living at home with those in residential care. Other studies have compared children for whom early stimulation programs have been available to those children who have not participated in preschool programs (Aronson and Fallstrom, 1977; Conolly, 1980; Harris, 1981; Ludlow and Allen, 1979). In all of these studies the authors have reported that children participating in such programs show a superiority in REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE / 17 their performance when compared to those children who did not have the opportunity to participate in preschool special education programs. One program which has produced much information in this area, is the Experimental Education Unit, Child Development and Mental Retardation Center at the University of Washington (Hayden and Haring, 1976). A structured curriculum based on a behavior-analytic framework was developed in order to systematically monitor and evaluate developmental data and child progress for retarded children birth to six years of age. The major aim has been to elevate the children's developmental status to the level of normal children's performance in the areas of gross and fine motor skills, social and communication skills, cognition, and self help. The authors have described the setting of the program, the objectives of the project, curricula, methodology, and their work with the parents of the children. Hayden and Haring (1977) have also reported on their program's impact by comparing three groups of children: 53 who were involved in their preschool program, 13 who had formerly attended and were enrolled in public school, and 28 children who did not participate in any stimulation program. The authors state that their program does enable children to perform at a higher level than those not involved in a preschool program. However the study fails to specify which program components contributed to the rate of progress in the children's development. Because there is a reported median age difference between the groups, the study is flawed, making it difficult to correctly attribute progress to the treatment as opposed to developmental differences among the three groups. Clunies-Ross (1979) attempted to replicate Hayden and Haring's work to show that those Down's syndrome children who are enrolled in intervention REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE / 18 programs at an early age will advance and show more improvement in their development than those who do not participate in such educational programs. Thirty six children ranging in ages from three to thirty five months were admitted to their program (sixteen in 1976, thirteen in 1977, and seven in 1978). The children received centre based instruction and their parents were involved in a 10 week training course. Children were tested upon entrance into the program and every four months thereafter. The children's stay in the program ranged from four to twenty months. Continuous improvement in the developmental status of each group of children is reported. The group admitted at an earlier age scored at a higher developmental level and mantained their superiority over twelve months. Hanson and Schwarz (1978) reported results based on a home intervention program with twelve Down's syndrome children. A structured program was developed and parents were taught how to keep systematic data on their children's developmental progress. The data were compared to developmental norms of normal children and to other Down's syndrome children not involved in an intervention program. Their data show that children enrolled in intervention programs achieved developmental milestones at an earlier stage than those children who did not partake in a stimulation program. Their data further suggest that the program had less impact upon the least delayed children and greater impact upon the more delayed ones. The majority of researchers have focused on documenting progress over time in preschool children with Down's syndrome. The goal of these researchers has been to assess the impact of a program on the clientele and to cite quantitative gains in the developmental status of children over a certain period. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE / 19 The program designers suggest that a series of components are necessary for the delivery of services to a population of handicapped children, including proper assessment, multidisciplinary involvement, specific methodology, and parental involvement. However, success is not analyzed in terms of all the components which contribute towards benefits for the child and the family. The chief concern of the research has been to justify its worthiness. Thus, efficacy has been reported in term of outcome measures to show that early intervention is effective for handicapped children. C. PROGRAMS FOR HETEROGENEOUS SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN A large quantity of research has been conducted on programs for children with a variety of handicapping conditions (Karnes, Zerback and Teska, 1977; Le Blanc, Etzel, Domash, 1978; McLeod, 1978; Quick and Campbell, 1976; Sande and Nassor, 1980; Sanford, 1974; Shearer and Shearer, 1976; Tjossem, 1976). As in the case of the projects described previously, these programs have formulated clear goal statements, program designs, materials, and teaching approaches. These reports have contributed a wealth of knowledge, ideas, and procedures for practitioners. Each technology of program development has contributed to an understanding of how youngsters learn and how special education can enhance the process, according to the authors' theoretical point of view about development and human behavior. These projects have described: 1) instruments which they have developed to assess children's competencies, to identify individual program goals and to collect information on the child during the teaching and learning process; 2) strategies for intervention in order to accomplish program objectives; and 3) a variety of features for parent support REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE / 2 0 and training activities. The assessment instruments have been designed based on a criterion referenced item format for the purpose of evaluating children's skills after diagnostic procedures and reports have been completed. Through their use teachers can obtain an indication of the age range at which a child is functioning in each skill area. They are also intended for a teaching sequence progression of simple to complex. The recording systems are usually designed so they can serve as an evaluation measure as well as a record of individual progress over a period of time. Most assessment instruments allow for the development of a program profile, a graph providing a visual display of the child's functioning level in all areas of development (Bluma, Shearer, Frohman, Hilliard, 1976; Elder and Swift 1975; Furuno, O'Reilly, Hosaka, Inatsuka, Airman, and Zeisloft, 1979; Gendreau, Ekey, Leyman, Price, Terman, Vogel, 1975; Koontz, 1974; Lillie and Harbing, 1975; Quick and Campbell, 1976; Sanford, 1974; White, Edgar and Haring, 1978). The strategies for intervention have been designed in order to counteract the effect of children's special needs, so that they may successfully participate in academic instruction and social interaction. Different techniques aimed at creating a special educational environment and developing behavior management programs have been described. Early childhood programs for handicapped children have been required by their funding sources to involve parents in their activities, as there is a strong belief that the participation and involvement of the child's parents influence the success of an intervention program. A variety of approaches for interacting with parents has been described. Parent involvement has meant several different REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE / 21 things, including involvement in program policy and decision making, guiding parents to understand, promote, reinforce, and help their children sustain gains made in the program, and counseling. Research about programs for this population of children has also mainly addressed issues concerning the child in his immediate setting. They have evaluated child progress over time. Outcome measures have generally not extended beyond the child (Simeonsson, Cooper and Scheiner, 1982; Sheehan and Keogh, 1982). The following examples show that in these evaluations the researchers have been primarily concerned with proving that the intervention strategies have contributed to the child's rate of development. Missing are questions concerning the characteristics of the settings, the child's handicap, his family background and its relationships to the child's development. The Portage Project (Shearer and Shearer, 1976) was one of the early model programs designed for exceptional children with a variety of etiologies. Originally funded in 1969, it continues to influence programs today. The program served children from birth to six years of age in the child's home and had ,as its main objective to teach parents to be the child's primary instructor using precision teaching techniques with their children. The authors report an average gain of 15 months in an 8 month period during the program's operation in measures of intelligence tests and sustained gains even after the children left the program. The Portage Project report provides only global information about gains the children achieved by participating in the program. Barna, Bidder, Gray, Clement, Gardner (1980) compared the rate of development of thirty five children with a variety of disabilities enrolled in their program at different ages who were served in a home program. Using a similar REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE / 22 strategy to the Portage model, the researchers reported rapid progress in the least delayed children and slower rate of progress in the more severely handicapped. In the studies which look at children served in the home, no attempt is made to study the impact of the visiting teachers on the home, including their influence on parent roles and their interpersonal relationships with their children. The focus was on the impact the program had on the children and not on the changes that may have occured on the mother and other family members. They did not go beyond these limits to analyze how they have influenced local agencies, their operational plans, or how they have affected policy. No mention is made on how the programs have influenced overall service delivery of health and education to young children. Bricker and Sheehan's (1981) project was designed to develop an early childhood program that showed verifiable changes in the children; to educate and support families of children enrolled in the program; to produce assessment materials which could monitor child change; to teach and support the families of the children; and to help local public schools in developing early childhood special needs programs. Besides providing the children with a classroom and home intervention program in the areas of gross motor, fine motor, sensorimotor development, social, self help, and communication skills, it also included a parent involvement component which was aimed at educating the parents, providing them with social services and an advocacy training program. Support services from physical therapists, psychologists, speech pathologists, communication specialists, social workers, and feeding specialists also characterized the program. All of the REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE / 23 children were tested before and after participation in the program and the evaluation data showed positive effects for children participating in the program. In this report the authors describe the norm referenced and criterion-referenced instruments used with the children and document progress towards their developmental milestones. Casto and Mastropieri (1986) located 74 early intervention efficacy studies in order to identify factors which contribute to effective programs. Although they caution the reader that efficacy research has focused mainly on I.Q. scores, they state that overall, early childhood programs do benefit handicapped preschoolers. When looking at four variables, parent involvement, age at which to commence intervention, degree of structure, and duration of the program, they conclude that: a) parents may not be as essential to intervention as it is believed; b) children may not have to start attending programs as early as possible; c) there is no apparent difference in programs which have a greater degree of structure than those which do not; and d) longer and intense programs seem to be most beneficial. A different type of study found in the literature is based on analyzing children's success in Kindergarten and elementary school after they have attended early intervention programs. These studies attempt to determine whether the preschool curriculum prepared the child to function independently in the school environment. Karnes, Schwedel, Lewis, Ratts and Esry (1981) report on a study of 86 children who had been enrolled .in an early childhood program for the handicapped between 1973 and 1979. The authors report an average gain of 13.4 points on the Stanford-Binet between pre and post testing during their stay in the preschool. The average length of stay at the program was 205 days. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE / 24 Teachers and parents of these children completed questionnaires about the children's current academic and social functioning. The student's cumulative records were also analyzed to obtain information on test scores, grade placement, grades obtained, and special services received at the elementary achool. Of the 86 children, it was reported that 80% were enrolled in regular education classrooms in grades Kindergarten to five. 18% of the children in regular classes had been retained (62% had been held back in first grade). It was also reported that 40% of the children did not require any remedial or support services. Parents and teachers felt very positive about their child's preschool experience. The data showed that children enrolled in regular classes were performing better than those in special education classes. This was attributed to the fact that the latter group was more severely handicapped than the other. Vincent, Salisbury, Walter, Brown, Gruenewald, and Powers (1980) followed 40 children who had been enrolled in an early childhood special education program between 1975 and 1977. Twenty two children had been placed in a regular Kindergarten program and the other eighteen had been placed in a variety of special education classrooms. The purpose of the study was to identify what skills (academic and non-academic) were important for children to achieve in order to perform well in a regular elementary setting so that these skills could be included in future curriculum and intervention strategies. Researchers have recently begun to expand their focus on program effects to include other elements which influence the child, the family, and the community. For example, Zeitlin (1981) designed a program which formulated specific goals for the child, the teacher, the parents, and the sending school district for handicapped three to five year olds. For evaluation purposes children's REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE / 25 progress was assessed by pre and post testing them on a standarized instrument (McCarthy Scales of Child Abilities) and criterion-referenced observation instruments (The Coping Inventory). The parent program evaluation component compared a needs assessment form used at the begining of the intervention program with an evaluation form in which parents and psychologists rated how their needs had been met at the end of the year. Finally a longitudinal study of 36 children who had participated in the program was conducted. The purpose was to analyze what kind of special education, if any, the children were receiving upon entrance into elementary school. Positive results are reported on children's outcomes and parental expectations. Sixty-four percent of the children entered regular Kindergarten classes once they reached elementary school. All of the previous examples are of studies based on research which use traditional instruments and are confirmatory in nature. They do not focus on processes, activities, and experiences children have in the classrooms. Naturalistic observations of children, teachers, and parents would allow for a more meaningful understanding of how the goals of the program were achieved. This type of research does not take into account the variability in program implementation and interpretation. (Sheehan and Keogh, 1982) The Huron Study (Yurchack and Mathews, 1980) was designed to determine the effects of the provisions of P.L. 94-142 and how they are understood and acted upon by the parents and local school personnel. The study followed twelve children in a small urban community in Massachussetts. One group of children was referred for evaluation at age three, another on entry to Kindergarten, and a third one was referred in the early elementary grades. Data from document reviews, intensive interviews, home and classroom observations REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE / 26 were analyzed and summarized in case studies. It was thought that as families learn to use the services provided to them under the law, they would accomodate their expectations of their child to the realities of school practice, at the same time, school personnel would adjust their services and attitudes to accomodate each family-child system. This was basically a study of adaptations to see how families adapt to special education and how school systems adapt to them. Mutual adaptation patterns were examined upon referral and entry into special education, individualized education program (I.E.P.) conferences, and evaluation of the first year services and transition to second year. The Huron Study is one of the few qualitative studies which described factors affecting special education in terms of child's characteristics and family characteristics beyond the classroom setting. The authors were able to isolate characteristics which contributed to an adaptation between family and school. Family characteristics were divided into those that influenced parent's relationships with each other, with their children, with other family members, and with community services. Local education agency characteristics were considered as they perceived their own role, i.e. their responsibility towards the families they served and towards the school system. The child's characteristics were identified as their personality traits and appearances, educational prognosis, and evidence of progress in the program. Overall, it is reported that family unity, parents' attitude toward their handicapped child, their expectations for services, their educational values and attitude towards professionals, schools and procedures influence their ability to adapt. Parents regarded the I.E.P. outcome as successful when they had accepted the fact that their child needed special services. School personnel were more REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE / 27 likely to contribute towards a successful I.E.P. process when they had a positive expectation of family. Schools enjoyed working with well behaved, outgoing children who showed evidence of potential individual ability. The most successful I.E.P. were those where a well established diagnosis existed. Although the study was terminated earlier than anticipated, it reports on the effects of the first year of services on children's cognitive skills, self image and affect, and the influence on the family and on the parent's relationships with each other, the child, other family members, community services and advocacy for children's rights. A similar study was conducted by Halpern and Parker-Crawford (1981) on nine school aged children who participated in a preschool program in Michigan. This ethnographic study tried to: 1) understand the impact of public law 94-142, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, on the family, and the child as they had contact with service agencies, 2) as it related to the following provisions of the law: protection in evaluation procedures, procedural safeguards, individualized education programs, and 3) understand important events which occured in each child's life. These kind of studies allow for the evaluation of different kinds of information using broader conceptual frameworks. They are less reliant on single outcome measures and focus on issues concerning context. Programs and procedures are investigated under the conditions in which they occur. They are looking at defining situations and understanding their meaning. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE / 28 D. MAINSTREAMING Mainstreaming has been defined as: a philosophy or principle of educational service delivery which is implemented by providing a variety of classroom and instructional alternatives that are appropriate to the individual educational plan for each student and allows maximal temporal, social, and instructional interaction among handicapped and non-handicapped students in the normal course of the school day (Karnes and Lee, 1978). Mainstreaming became a strategy for program implementation after segregated special education practices came under severe attack (Dunn, 1968). At the same time, the ideas of normalization (Wolfensberger, 1972), the right of handicapped people to normal life experiences, society's effort to deinstitutionalize handicapped individuals, and to provide all children with the right to education in the least restrictive environment became widespread. Head Start programs also began to require the inclusion of exceptional children into their programs in 1972 and the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (P.L. 94-142) was enacted in the United States in 1975. The law started including children three to five years of age in 1980. Most early childhood programs for special needs children assume that exceptional children should have contacts with normal peers, if the setting can offer something to the child and the child is able to offer something to the group (Meisels, 1977). Strategies used for this purpose have been either to integrate the special needs child into regular classrooms or to include a few non-handicapped children in a classroom where the majority of children have a handicapping condition. Even though the concept of mainstreaming can be justified on the basis of REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE / 29 social, ethical, and legal considerations (Bricker, 1978; Safford and Rosen, 1981), the data from the education field is still inconclusive and disjointed (Karnes and Lee, 1978). Studies have been conducted to look at the overall effects of mainstreaming handicapped children on the non-handicapped students (Cooke, Ruskus, Peck, Apolloni, 1979; Odom, Deklyan, Jenkins 1984; Esposito, 1987); on the handicapped children themselves (Bricker and Sandall, 1979; Falvey, 1980; Galloway and Chandler, 1978; Ispa and Matz, 1978) and on the effects on both handicapped and non-handicapped children (Cooke, Ruskus, Apolloni and Peck, 1981). Some outcome data reports positive effects in segregated settings for handicapped children, yet others report as much change in one setting as in the other (Jenkins, Speltz, Odom, 1985). One of the concerns special educators have is the fact that mainstreamed settings do not have the degree of precision and consistency found in specialized classes and may not lead towards the same rate of progress (Vincent, Salisbury, Walter, Brown, Gruenewald, Powers, 1980; Tawney, 1981). Pathways (Carlson, 1979) was a project conceptualized from a socioecological model intended to provide technical assistance to regular preschool programs in their integration of preschool youngsters. The project was based on the idea that for a preschooler with special needs, regular nursery schools, and day care centres are a viable and positive alternative to segregated settings. The project provided help to families and early childhood programs in analyzing available placement options, supporting responsiveness to children, families and personnel, evaluating, disseminating, and exchanging information. Carlson reports that handicapped children in integrated classrooms show positive gains in rate of development over what would be the expected rate of development especially in REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE / 30 the area of communication. Changes were also observed in the area of social competency, self concept, and confidence. In the Pathways Project teachers stated that the support they obtained specially at the beginning of the integration process was worthwhile. It was reported that teachers do not believe that they need special education training to serve these children and that the handicapped children require only slightly more time than non-handicapped children, that handicapped children do not disrupt the classroom and that mainstreaming has an impact on all children. Researchers have studied the value of social integration to understand to what extent contact between handicapped and non-handicapped preschoolers takes place (Guralnick, 1981). These studies report that interactions do occur between both groups of children, however the rate of interaction seems to increase when the environment is manipulated (Appoloni and Cooke, 1975; Bricker, 1978; Burstein, 1986; Guralnick, 1978; Pol, Crow, Rider, Offner, 1985). Those studies that look at the components of the environment which may affect integration conclude that carefully planned strategies and structure are of great importance for successful integration (Allen, 1981; Cooke, Ruskus, Apolloni, Peck, 1981; Fenrick, Pearson and Pepelnjak, 1984; Fredericks, Baldwin, Grove, Moore, Riggs, Lyons, 1978; Karnes and Lee 1978; Kohl and Beckman, 1984). These researchers suggest that parent involvement, physical arrangement, classroom organization, learning through imitation, inter-disciplinary programming, and program structure are the factors that need to be considered in deciding whether to mainstream a child or not. Tawney (1981) emphazises the importance of teacher training in order to bring about social change and acceptance of the handicapped child into the REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE / 31 regular classroom. The issue of teacher presence in order to facilitate social integration is controversial. Field (1980); Novak, Olley, Kearney (1980); and White (1980) have all reported investigations where the teacher's presence inhibited the children's activity. Jenkins, Speltz, Odom (1985); Peterson (1982) and Rogers Warren, Ruggles, Peterson, and Cooper (1981), have suggested that the mere fact of bringing handicapped and non-handicapped children together does not enable social interaction. Teachers need to encourage interactions in classrooms and playgrounds and plan for the involvement of children. Curricula for structuring interactions are being proposed (Apolloni and Cooke, 1978; Jenkins, Speltz and Odom, 1985; Johnson and Johnson, 1975; Strain, Kerr and Ragland, 1981). The reports on spontaneous play among handicapped and non-handicapped children in mainstreamed environments have also been controversial. Peterson and Haralick (1977) studied play among five non-handicapped and eight handicapped children. The non-handicapped children chose other non-handicapped children to play with 42% of the time and mixed groups 39% of the time. The type of play in which the children were involved in did not change when the regular children were involved with handicapped children. Although non-handicapped children preferred other regular peers, they did play with handicapped children, specially in combinations. Pol et al.'s (1985) data also showed that spontaneous integrated interactions do occur. Guralnick and GroOm (1988) reported on a study done for the purpose of assessing whether mildly developmentally delayed differed in their peer related social interactions in mainstreamed and segregated settings. The social and play interactions of eleven handicapped four year old boys were observed in a mainstreamed play situation five days a week for two hours for four weeks and in a segregated situation three weeks after being observed in the REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE / 32 mainstreamed setting. Children were observed a total of 100 minutes in the mainstreamed environment and 80 minutes in the segregated setting. Children's play was observed in order to record their social participation (solitary, parallel, and group) and cognitive play (functional, constructive, dramatic, and games with rules) plus eight other categories: unoccupied behavior, onlooker behavior, reading, rough and tumble, exploration, active conversation, transitional, and adult directed. The child's social behavior was also recorded. Children's social and cognitive play was compared between the two settings. Results show that there were significant differences for the two settings on two variables: transition (moving from one activity to the other), F(l,20) = 7.94, p<.01, and adult directed (an activity with an adult), F(l,20) = 28.09, p<.001. As far as cognitive play was concerned, dramatic play rarely occured in either setting (p<.05). Proportions of constructive play were considerably higher when children were in the mainstreamed play groups (F(l,20) = 5.28, p<.05). No statistically significant differences were reported for functional play. Guralnick reported that the individual children's social behavior measures show that the developmentally delayed children were more interactive with their peers in mainstreamed rather than in segregated settings. He concludes that children engage in higher rates of social interactions in mainstreamed settings based on a significant multivariate effect (F(10,ll) = 5.18, p<.01). However, univariate analyses yielded significant differences just for transitional and adult directed items. Dunlop, Stoneman and Cantrell (1982); Federlein (1981); Guralnick (1981); Ispa and Matz (1978) all report that the play level of handicapped children in the mainstream are positively influenced by interactions with regular children. In contrast, in a study of play, attending, and language of six handicapped children REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE / 33 who attended an integrated setting for half a day and a segregated setting for the other half day, Fenrick, Pearson and Pepelnjak (1984) observed more incidences of no play in the integrated setting than in the segregated environment for five of the six children. They also report a trend towards more cooperative play in the segregated setting. The authors caution the readers to interpret the results with care, since the findings from this small population could have been attributed to the physical arrangement of the environment. Burstein (1986) reports that handicapped children spent more time with children when adults were present. Communication between handicapped and non-handicapped children has been another factor that has been of interest to researchers. It has been reported that in instructional and free play settings, non-handicapped children's speech was generally less frequent, less complex, and less diverse when they communicated with their handicapped peers (Guralnick and Paul-Brown, 1977; Guralnick 1980). Non-handicapped children have been reported to adjust their patterns of communication so that they are understood by others. In Fenricks et al. (1984) observations of children attending both integrated and segregated settings, the children exhibited the same amount of language in both environments, handicapped children did not imitate the language of their regular peers in the integrated setting. The questions of whether mainstreaming works, for what children, and under what conditions, are still inconclusive. We can note from the research conducted in the field of mainstreaming that this strategy is still being tested for its efficacy. Generally researchers believe it is a worthwhile educational practice for handicapped children and non-detrimental for the non-handicapped child REVIEW QF THE LITERATURE / 34 (Guralnick, 1981, 1982; Jenkins, Speltz, Odom, 1985; Odom, Deklyen, Jenkins, 1984; Tawney, 1981). There are still many unanswered questions dealing with which strategies and environmental arrangements which contribute to the enhancement of each child's development. Little is known about issues dealing with process measures of mainstreaming. The notion of mainstreaming is a very complex issue which may not be answered for groups of children, but needs to be considered on an individual family basis. When analyzing the efficacy of mainstreaming it is important to look at the interrelationships among social policy, educational programs, and implementation practices in a community in order to understand their mutual influence on the process. As it has been noted, mainstreaming is seen as an alternative to serving children in segregated settings. As yet, not all preschool programs accept both handicapped and non-handicapped children into their facilities. Many studies note that special needs children are served in segregated programs where the majority of peers are handicapped (Dell, 1984; Tobias and Kendall, 1984). In an effort to compare preschool environments serving handicapped and non-handicapped children, Bailey, Clifford and Harms (1982) rated 25 classrooms for the handicapped and 56 classrooms for the non-handicapped in North Carolina and Missouri. They report lower ratings for handicapped programs. Programs did not differ significantly in the quality of personal care routines, language reasoning experiences, fine and gross motor activities, and adult needs. However, there were differences in the areas of room arrangement for interest centres and relaxation and comfort, creative activities, and social development. In the programs for special needs children they report fewer art materials available, fewer blocks, and no play and storage place for them, there were no provisions REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE / 35 for sand, water, or dramatic play and few storage areas which encourage independent use of materials. In conclusion, when mainstreaming special needs children into regular programs, educators must be willing to integrate them and provide them with a structured environment and individualized attention so that the benefits of interacting with regular children are enhanced. E. PARENTS AND FAMILIES OF SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN Model early childhood intervention programs have developed a variety of techniques for working with parents. Parents have been encouraged to participate in a range of services froni the planning and development of a program to counseling, from establishing networks for social and professional assistance to teaching and learning skills to foster intellectual, motor, and social skills in their children. Few evaluations have examined program impact on parents. Many studies have focused on parent outcome measures without relating them to their children's success. 1. Parents as Teachers Studies have reported the steps employed in helping parents assume a staff-partner role (Denhoff and Hyman, 1976; Jones, 1973; Karnes and Teska, 1980; Shearer and Shearer, 1976) but have not investigated the effects of training parents to be their child's teacher. Researchers interested in teaching parents behavior modification techniques have reported success in training parents on task analysis (Filler and Kassari, 1981), shaping (Adubato, Adams and Budd, 1981), and reinforcement strategies (Petrie, Kratochival, Bergan and Nicholson, REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE / 36 1981) which they are able to utilize with their special needs child. Baker and Heifetz (1976, 1980) conducted a study with 160 families of mentally retarded children three to fourteen years of age to see how they could learn behavior modification techniques. Parents were grouped into five clusters, matched on their knowledge of the technique and on the chronological age of their retarded child. The families in each group were then randomly assigned to a different training format. The Behavioral Vignettes Test was administered to mothers and fathers before and after the training. Parents received instruction in the use of behavior modification using different methods of instruction. One group received only a training manual, all contacts to them were by mail. The second group received the training manual and bi-weekly phone calls. The third group received a training manual and attended group meetings. The fourth group received the training manual, attended group meetings, and in-home consultations. The fifth group was the control group, parents received no input. All parents were encouraged to fill out teaching logs each day. The training lasted twenty weeks. The results reported show that all mothers demonstrated a significant improvement on the Behavioral Vignettes Tests when compared with the control mothers. Fathers' improvement was related to the contacts they had with the trainer. The children of parents undergoing the training improved significantly in skill acquisitions when compared to the control group. Once the literature showed that parents of preschool children could become effective teachers of their children, researchers initiated efforts to develop tools to assess the quality of parent-child interactions (Bromwich, 1978; Rosenberg, Robinson, Beckman, 1984). These instruments add another dimension to efforts made in evaluating intervention strategies comprehensively. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE / 37 2. Needs of Parents of Special Needs Preschoolers The literature reports that even though studies have shown that parental and family involvement plays an important role in sustaining gains made in preschool programs (Blacher and Turnbull, 1982; Karnes and Lee, 1978; D'Alonzo, 1982), parents may not want training sessions for themselves (Winton and Turnbull, 1981). Thus a series of studies are available which explore the parents' perspectives on their involvement. It has been noted that families of handicapped children need support, but that their needs might change due to a variety of circumstances, consequently their attitude towards the parent activities offered to them can change (Bricker, 1982; Bailey and Simeonsson, 1984; Gallagher, 1983; Winton and Turnbull, 1981). Since early childhood programs were modelled under conceptual frameworks which considered parental involvement a high priority, practitioners have developed high expectations regarding the level of family participation in various aspects of the programs. Programs offer parents many opportunities to engage in a range of activities (Winton and Turnbull, 1981; Becker, Bender and Kawabe, 1980). In reality however, parents may not be seeking involvement when they engage in early intervention programs for their children. Gallagher, Maddox, and Espinosa (1984) surveyed the needs of parents of children enrolled in preschool programs in Washington State. Although only 37% of the parents surveyed responded, one third of the parents reported they received parent education, 32% reported that they felt no need for parent education and 42% reported that they felt no need for a support group. A Minnesota study (De Berry, Ristau and Galland, 1984) reports low levels of parent participation in programs as well. Recent studies are starting to question why a discrepancy exists between REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE / 38 program expectations for participation of parents and their actual degree of involvement. Different causes have been discussed. Practitioners have assumed that, because parents have a vested interest in their children and are undergoing a certain amount of stress in their lives as they are faced with the role of parenting an exceptional child, they will automatically assume demands imposed on them by the early childhood program. Clinicians and practitioners have been reported to have values and preferences that are different from those of parents of handicapped children (Blacher and Turnbull, 1982; Cadman, Goldsmith and Bashim, 1984). Cadman et al. report on a study which showed that while clinicians felt that family involvement was the most important outcome of an early childhood program, parents did not feel this way. In Blacher and TurnbulPs study, teachers indicated that the role of the parents as classroom volunteers was an important consideration for successful mainstreaming. Parents however did not see it this way. Becker, Bender and Kawabe (1980) in a survey of parents of exceptional preschoolers in southern California found that there was no adequate communication between delivery agents and the parents; poor parent participation was attributed to the lack of publicity on the programs. Although there is a growing concern in the field that educators must try to fit parental involvement to individual needs of parents (Bailey, Simeonsson; 1984; Bricker 1982; Dunst, 1983, 1984, 1985) there has been little empirical research that shows the kind of parent involvement that would be most appropriate to meet the needs of different families. Spiker (1982) looked at the reaction of mother's of Down's syndrome preschoolers to various program activities. She explored the differences between responses of mothers of males versus females and for groups identified as high functioning versus low REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE / 39 functioning to parental involvement. Information was gathered on the amount and type of infant stimulation and preschool programs attended, parent group and support meetings participation, and home stimulation activities for 25 mothers. Spiker found that parents were more actively involved in intervention activities when their children were in infant programs than in preschool programs. Mothers were generally satisfied with their degree of involvement. Spiker corraborates previous reports which have shown that parents benefitted emotionally from support group meetings as they came into contact with other parents. She recommends that the content of parent support groups for parents of preschoolers be periodically reviewed in order that they continue attracting parents to the meetings. She also suggests that program providers should involve parents in program evaluations in order to look at the parent's ability and willingness to implement home programs. As the mothers of boys reported having difficulties carrying out activities at home and having to involve other family members quite frequently, and mothers of low functioning children described their children as less happy and less attentive, the author suggests that individual differences should be considered in designing stimulation activities and recommendations for various families. The study did not explore the reason why parental involvement diminished after infancy. The reader does not know whether this was a reflection on the preschool program's design, or whether it was due to changing parental needs. The study looked at maternal involvement of a homogeneous population in programs, but it did not take into account father's reactions. Articles have appeared related to the involvement of fathers in early childhood programs for special needs children. Markowitz (1984) reports on a study of 14 early childhood special education programs which attempted to gather REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE / 40 information related to father involvement. An interesting finding was that parents usually participate together. Father's involvement depended very much on his views towards the parenting role. Fathers' participation seemed more noticeable in individual sessions rather than in ongoing group session. Linder and Chitwood (1984) report on a study designed to investigate the needs of 393 fathers of handicapped preschoolers enrolled in 34 programs in Colorado. In their analysis of questionnaires returned (39%) they found that the time fathers spent with their exceptional child was the same as parents of normal children spent with theirs, fathers expressed a high interest level in their child's education and therapj', fathers obtained most of their information on the intervention programs from their spouses and they claimed that they would be interested in participating in programs for them if those existed. Although the data presented in both studies is very general and no information is given regarding the nature of the type and degree of participation and the type of program offered, it can be seen that practitioners are becoming more aware of the need to include fathers in the programs. Research is needed to determine the effects of intervention programs on the family, i.e. what specific elements of parent program effectiveness are correlated to levels of participation. Parental preference for program involvement and implementation, and their relationship to program effectiveness also needs to be studied (Casto and Lewis, 1984). As Bailey and Simeonsson suggest: researchers and interventionists are hampered by the lack of 1) appropriate and relevant models for understanding family functioning, 2) strategies and instruments for assessing family needs, and 3) a comprehensive approach for designing and implementing an integrated, individualized program of services for families (1984, p. 45). REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE / 41 Studies have tended to look at family members alone and not as part of a system which includes their child in a program which is located in a particular community with unique characteristics. Researchers at Western Carolina Center have developed comprehensive child and family services for families with handicapped children birth to six years of age. Their programs and research studies are conceptualized from an ecological perspective. In several studies (Dunst, 1983, 1984, 1985), a social systems approach to early intervention programs was used in order to evaluate program effectiveness. Preschool programs were viewed as one form of family support. The main foci of these studies are the direct and indirect social support to families which affect family integrity, emotional and physical well-being, types of parental interaction and child behavior. Dunst worked with all family members, not only the handicapped child in the family. These studies move away from child-centered approaches and evaluate broader aspects of early intervention. In general, these studies have found that support has positive influences on the child, parent and family functioning. Social support has been related to child outcome measures. Quality of support is said to be more important than amount. An interesting finding has been the fact that help emanating from any ecological level has had positive effects on health related outcomes. These studies mainly focus on the importance of various types of support to families with special needs preschoolers. They do not provide detailed information on the activities and interactions occuring at various levels of the environment. Studies designed from this broader perspective provide the field with rich and additional kinds of information on the effectiveness of early childhood intervention. A recent federal law in the U.S., REVIEW O F T H E L I T E R A T U R E / 42 P .L. 99-457 mandates the development of an individualized Family Services Plan for exceptional preschoolers and their families by program providers. This new component in the field is slowly being reflected in the research literature, which reports on the practices in working with families (McLinden-Mott and Braeger, 1988; Suarez, Hurth and Prestridge, 1988; Winton and Bailey, 1988). F. CONCLUSION Although much knowledge exists on a variety of aspects about programs for young handicapped children, there is still a gap in our understanding of the interrelationships that exist among them and how they affect each other. Little is known about factors that occur at different ecological levels which directly and indirectly reflect on the child's behavior. More information is needed on the complexities of classroom life of special needs preschoolers. The next chapter will discuss how this thesis attempts to explore how structural variables (type of preschool programs, quality of programs) and process variables (experiences and activities) influence children and their parents. CHAPTER III. METHOD The methodology chapter contains a statement of the hypotheses and the description of the design of the study. A. HYPOTHESES The study was guided by the following hypotheses: HI The mainstreamed day care and nursery school programs will provide more materials for creative experiences and social interactions than segregated programs. H2 Special needs children in mainstreamed environments participate more frequently in child-child interactions. H3 There is a higher degree of structure and teacher control in segregated and reversed mainstreamed settings. Individualized instruction is favored in the segregated and reversed mainstreamed settings. H4 There are higher expectations of parents of special needs children in segregated programs to become involved in a range of activities than in mainstreamed programs. H5 Support services staff are more involved in programs for special needs children in segregated settings. 43 METHOD / 44 B. DESIGN This was an exploratory study since there is little information on the precise nature of the programs in which children with special needs and their parents participate. Four different types of settings were analyzed with respect to a range of variables. The primary purpose of this study was to obtain detailed information about a number of specific components that characterize available centre based placement options for handicapped preschool children and to test the significant differences that exist between the programs. For this purpose an ex-post facto design was used. Quantitative data was collected in naturalistic settings. The structural variables of the classroom were assessed by systematically looking at furnishings and materials. Process variables were assessed by looking at classroom activities, child-child interactions, teacher-child interactions, support services, and parental involvement in the programs. C. SAMPLING The programs studied were selected from those identified by Tobias and Kendall (1984) which served 3 to 5 year old children with developmental delays, learning difficulties, mild mental handicaps, and language impairments. The sample did not include children with severe communication difficulties, hearing impairment and severe emotional disturbances. Tobias and Kendall found that the children were being served in four different types of settings, therefore samples from all four were obtained. The strata can be characterized as follows: 1. Segregated programs: facilities which are licensed as "special needs" centres which serve only an exceptional population. 2. Reversed mainstreamed programs: facilities which are licensed as "special METHOD / 45 needs" centres which serve 50% or more exceptional children and also accept regular children. In both of these types of settings the centres are operated by societies which spell out educational philosophies and remedial and or compensatory goals oriented towards ameliorating handicapping conditions. 3. Mainstreamed programs: Day care centres (full day) and nursery school programs (half day) which express a traditional orientation towards the education of young children. Generally there are no statement of goals for the handicapped population. These facilities do not have a special needs license, however they accept a few handicapped children (10-20%) into their programs. A total of 52 organizations serving exceptional 3 to 5 year olds with the above specified handicapping conditions were identified in the Vancouver region of British Columbia. Eleven offered segregated programs, 11 offered reversed mainstreamed programs, and 30 offered mainstreamed programs. Within the mainstreamed programs, 18 were identified as day care centres and 12 as nursery schools. A sample of 20 programs were selected. An equal number of classrooms from each type were randomly selected. In other words: 5 segregated, 5 reversed mainstreamed, 5 day care centres, and 5 nursery schools. In order to obtain an accurate picture of the processes that take place in the early childhood classrooms for special needs children, and to report on teacher-child interactions, child-child interactions, and parental involvement, one teacher, two children, and three parents (including the two parents of the target children) were selected from each classroom. In classrooms where the adult-child ratio called for more than one teacher, the teacher selected was the one whom METHOD / 46 the supervisor reported interacted mostly with the exceptional children. Thus data was collected on 20 classrooms, 20 teachers, 40 children and 60 parents. An attempt was made to match the target children on disability, age, gender and socio-economic backgrounds. D. INSTRUMENTS The study made use of several measurement instruments as sources of evidence. The observation instruments used were the following: The Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (E.C.E.R.S.) (Harms and Clifford, 1980) was used in order to obtain a measure of the quality of environments which are available for preschool handicapped children. The scale consists of 37 items which yield a classroom profile based on seven sub-scales: personal care routines for children, furnishings and display for children, language reasoning experiences, fine and gross motor activities, creative activities, social development and adult needs. Each of the 37 items is scored on a scale from 1 (inadequate) to 7 (excellent); both an overall score and sub-scale scores can be obtained. Validity and reliability for this instrument has been established and the scale has been reported in a number of recent studies (Bailey, Clifford and Harms, 1982; Goelman and Pence, 1987, 1988; Kontos and Fiene, 1987; McCartney, 1984). Given that the E.C.E.R.S. profile provided the researcher with a broad knowledge of how the classroom was arranged, what materials were available, and what activities were conducted, a more focused observation of children's social participation and cognitive play skills was also conducted. Higginbotham, Baker and Neill's (1980) Free Play Classification Scale was used. This scale combines Parten's (1932) sequence of social play of preschool children (solitary, METHOD / 47 parallel, associative, cooperative, onlooker, and unoccupied) with Smilansky's (1968) developmental sequence of cognitive play behavior (functional, constructive, dramatic) into a clearly defined format. The authors report validity and reliability measures which demonstrated the consistency and appropriateness of their instrument for use with handicapped preschoolers. The same authors report using the instrument to assess handicapped and non-handicapped preschoolers play (Higginbotham and Baker, 1981). Two special needs children were observed during 'free play' time for 30 minutes, during three consecutive days. The type of social/cognitive play or non-playful activity observed was recorded. The number of times each child was observed in each category was computed. In order to observe teacher-child interactions in the classrooms, a modification of the Five Minute Interaction System of the Stanford Research Institute (S.R.I.) Classroom Observation System (Stallings, 1977) was used. The author of this valid, reliable, and widely used instrument (National Day Care Cost Effect Studies and Follow Through Studies in the U.S., 1974) encourages modification. One teacher from each program was observed for five minutes, two times a day, for three consecutive days, in order to count occurences of events in each classroom type. 1. Inter-observer Reliability Two observers were trained in the use of the three instruments described above. Prior to the data collection inter-observer agreement was assessed on a video tape of a program for preschool special needs children, a program not observed in this study. A research assistant was provided with 40 hours of METHOD / 48 training. An 80% agreement on all items coded was obtained before actual data collection began. This level of inter-observer reliability is consistent with other studies (i.e., Goelman, 1988; Harms and Clifford, 1980). 2. Systematic Interviewing Twenty teachers were interviewed in order to obtain descriptive information on the classroom, parental involvement activities available, type and amount of parent participation in the classroom, and type and amount of support services provided to the program. Sixty parents were interviewed in order to obtain information regarding parental level of involvement, satisfaction, and perceptions about the preschool program their child attended. Parents were asked to complete the Family Resource Scale (Dunst and Leet, 1985) and the Family Support Scale (Dunst, Jenkins and Trivette, 1984) in order to determine the adequacy of resources, personal well-being, and sources of support available to the parents who participated in the study. E . P R O T O C O L Letters of introduction were sent to the sites requesting their participation in the study. Programs were contacted to seek permission to observe. After identifying the sites and the children, letters of introduction were sent to the parents requesting their participation in the study. Three days were spent at each site in order to conduct observations and interviews (see Appendix D). METHOD / 49 F. PILOT CASE STUDY The instruments were piloted in two different types of settings: a regular day care centre and a mainstreamed after school program for five year old children. The pilot study followed the main study procedures. The E.C.E.R.S. proved to be a good instrument to look at various aspects of the program. After three consecutive days it was feasible to rate the seven subscales of the instrument and gain a complete picture of the quality of the day care centre and the mainstreamed program. Two nonhandicapped children were chosen to assess their free play behaviors using Higginbotham and Baker's (1980) Free Play Classification Scale in the day care centre. An event sampling observation technique was used first for thirty minutes per child. This method however was difficult to rate as there was much time variability from child to child, making analysis difficult. To facilitate recording accuracy, a five second observe, twenty five second record for a thirty minutes time period was adopted. Three of these thirty minutes observations were done over a three day period, generating one hundred and eighty 'windows' of type of social/cognitive play for each child. This time sampling observation procedure was used in the mainstreamed program where two special needs children were observed. The instrument was easy to use and provided the observer with accurate data. The S.R.I. Five Minute Observation System was found to yield a large quantity of data (49 codes). Because some codes were superfluous .to this stud3r, the instrument was modified. The new version examined the teacher; to whom the teacher was speaking (whether to one child, two children, a small group, a large group); whether the teacher initiated or responded; and whether the METHOD / 50 interactions had to do with the development of basic skills, (i.e. academic), or were concerned with behavior. The following categories from the original instrument were used: under the initiation category observations were directed to see if the teacher requests or commands, poses open ended questions, instructs or comments. Under the response category, observations were made to see if the teacher makes task related statements, acknowledgments, praises or expresses statements which are intended for corrective feedback purposes. This shorter version of the instrument was used in both programs. It was found to be easy to use and provided valuable data about teacher interaction. The teachers and three parents from both programs were interviewed using the structured questionnaire. Valuable information was obtained. The questions did not appear to be threatening to the teachers nor the parents. Answers to the questions were recorded as completely as possible. G. DATA ANALYSIS The first hypothesis having to do with the environment of the early childhood settings was analyzed using a one way analysis of variance on the total scores and sub-scales of the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale. The hypotheses about child-child interaction was analyzed by a repeated measures nested design, analysis of variance in order to assess the interaction between types of centres and play considering centres within types. Teacher-child interaction was analyzed using a nested, repeated measures analysis of variance design in order to assess types of centres and teacher directives considering centres within types. A participation index was obtained to reflect the degree of parent METHOD / 51 participation (effort/opportunity). An analysis of variance was conducted on this index to test significant differences of parent participation in the different types of programs. Parent importance ratings on parental involvement activities was analyzed using a 4 (types of centres) by 5 (centres within types) by 3 (parents within each centre) multiple analysis of variance nested design. Correlations between teacher importance ratings of parental involvement activities offered and parental ratings of activities were also computed. The Family Resource Scale and Family Support Scale data were analyzed by a one way analysis of variance. Type and amount of support services in the early childhood programs were analyzed by a one way analysis of variance. CHAPTER IV. RESULTS A. HYPOTHESIS 1: STRUCTURAL DIMENSIONS OF T H E E A R L Y CHILDHOOD PROGRAMS It was hypothesized that mainstreamed day care and nursery school programs would provide more materials for creative experiences and social interactions than segregated programs. Scores obtained on the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS) for the four types of preschool settings for the sample are presented in Table 1. As indicated, out of a maximum total score of 259 points, the scores of the day care centres (x = 156.40) were significantly lower (F= 10.37, p<.001) than those of segregated centres (5 = 225.00), reversed mainstreamed centres (x = 212.40) and nursery schools (x = 191.40). The scores for the subscales revealed the same pattern. A one way analysis of variance revealed statistically significant differences (see Appendix A) between the scores of day care centres and both segregated and reversed mainstreamed centres on the: personal care routine scale (F=5.80, p<.05), furnishings and display (F = 5.03, p<.01), fine and gross motor activities (F = 7.13, p<.005), creative activities (F = 5.71, p<.01), social development (F=8.03, p<.005). In addition day care centres were significantly lower than the segregated, reversed mainstreamed, and nursery schools on language reasoning experiences (F=8.57, p<.005). The adult needs subscale analysis of variance showed that mean differences tended in the same direction and approached significance (F=2.78, p<.08). Since the mean scores for segregated programs were greater than day 52 RESULTS / 53 Table 1: Analysis of Variance of Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale for  Type of Preschool Centre ECERS Type of Preschool Centre Segregated (S) Reversed Mainstreamed (RM) Day Care (DC) Nursery (N) Post Hoc Results Personal X 28.60* 30.00* 22.20 24.20 S>DC Care (35)1 S.D. 1.51 4.00 2.77 4.50 RM>DC Furnishings X 27.80* 26.80* 21.00 25.80 S>DC Display (35) S.D. 4.09 2.05 2.34 3.11 RM>DC Language X 26.60* 24.60* 16.00 22.40* S>DC Reasoning (28) S.D. 1.94 2.40 2.34 5.85 RM>DC Experiences N>DC Fine/Gross X 38.20* 36.80* 28.40 32.60 S>DC Motor (42) S.D. 3.27 2.17 3.79 5.02 RM>DC Creative X 42.60* 38.40* 29.80 35.80 S>DC Activities (49) S.D. 5.90 1.81 3.90 6.87 RM>DC Social Devel- X 37.40* 33.20* 23.60 30.20 S>DC opment (42) S.D. 4.16 4.81 3.43 5.63 RM>DC Adult X 23.80 22.60 15.40 20.40 Needs (28) S.D. 3.50 6.30 3.13 6.10 Total X 225.00* 212.40* 156.40 191.40 S>DC (259) S.D. 19.31 20.14 13.08 28.01 RM>DC * Significant at a = 0.05 1 (maximum possible score) RESULTS / 54 care and nursery school programs the hypothesis could not be confirmed. However, it is interesting to note that there are significant differences between segregated, reversed mainstreamed programs, and day care centres in the structural dimensions of the programs. Segregated and reversed mainstreamed programs in this sample offer higher quality of programs to special needs preschool children. The next chapter will analyze salient dimensions of this finding. B. HYPOTHESIS 2: CHILD • CHILD INTERACTIONS It was hypothesized that special needs children in mainstreamed environments would participate more frequently in interactions with their peers. A 4 (types of centres) x 5 (types of social play) x 5 (centres within types) repeated measures analysis of variance was used to assess the interaction between types of centres and social play considering centres within types. There were main effects for social play (F=23.79, p<.001), however the play categories did not interact with type of centre. There was a significant difference between centres within types (F=1.78, p<.05). The same design was used to assess the interaction between types of centres and intellectual play (see Appendix B). There were main effects for intellectual play (F=23.74, p<.001). Type of play did not interact with type of centre. There were also significant differences in the intellectual play scale between centres within types (F=3.14, p<.001). It is possible that this large difference among centres prevents a statistical difference between types for both the social and intellectual play scale. Post hoc analyses (Scheffe tests) of mean differences between types of social and RESULTS / 55 Table 2: Percentage of Time (Means) Children Spend in Types of Social Play by Type of Preschool Centre Type of Social Play Type of Centre Solitary Parallel Associative Cooperative Inactive Segregated .33 .21 .24 .07 .14 Rev. Mainst. .24 .30 .27 .03 .15 Day care .30 .39 .23 .04 .10 Nursery School .24 .43 .19 .01 .12 Composite Means .28 .32 .24 .04 .13 Critical value for Scheffe Test for composite mean differences: 4^ ± .0034 All pairs of means exceed this value and all differences are significant. Table 3: Percentage of Time (Means) Children Spend in Types of Intellectual  Play by Type of Preschool Centre Type of Intellectual Play Type of Centre Functional Constructive Dramatic Inactive Segregated .27 .48 .10 .14 Rev. Mainst. .36 .40 .09 .15 Day care .50 .32 .08 .10 Nursery School .32 .48 .08 .12 Composite Means .36 .42 .09 .13 Critical value for Scheffe Test for composite mean differences: 4*j ± .0066 All pairs of means exceed this value and all differences are significant. RESULTS / 56 intellectual play and all pair wise contrasts were statistically significant at the <.05 (see Tables 2 and 3). Even though all contrasts are statistically significant, they form obvious patterns of differences among types of social and intellectual play. In social play, parallel (x = .32), solitary (x = .28) and associative play (x = .24) have by far the largest means while in cooperative and inactive are lower. Similarly, in intellectual play, constructive (x = .42) and functional (x = .36) have larger means than dramatic play (x = .09). The hypothesis was rejected, there are no significant differences among the four types of programs on child-child interactions. Although program type did not indicate that children had the opportunity for diverse participation and interaction, the results suggest that special needs children in early childhood settings exhibit low levels of cooperative and dramatic play. C. HYPOTHESIS 3: TEACHER-CHILD INTERACTION It was hypothesized that there were higher degrees of structure, teacher control, and individualized instruction in segregated and reversed mainstreamed settings. First, a 4 (types of centre) x 4 (groupings of children) x 5 (centres within type) repeated measures analysis of variance was used to assess significant differences among types of centres and to whom the teachers were talking, considering centres within types (see Appendix C). The data revealed significant differences (F=1.77, p<.002) among centres within type regarding the teacher. talking to one child, two children, small or large group of children. The data showed no differences in whom the teacher was addressing in the different types of centres (see Table 4). A 4 (types of centres) x 2 (directives) x 5 (centres within types) repeated RESULTS / 57 Table 4: Percentage of Time (Means) Teachers Talk to Children by Group Size  and Type of Preschool Centre Group Size Type of Centre One Child Two Children Small Group Large Group Segregated .73 .15 .08 .17 Rev. Mainst. .69 .04 .07 .20 Day care .62 .05 .07 .25 Nursery School .65 .01 .15 .19 Table 5: Percentage of Time (Means) Teachers Initiate or Respond Verbally by Type of Preschool Centre Type of Centre Initiate Respond Segregated .16 .09 Rev. Mainst. .18 .07 Day care .18 .06 Nursery School .16 .09 measures analysis of variance was used to assess types of centres and teacher directives considering centres within types. The data showed a significant difference (F=2.67, p<.001) among centres within type regarding teacher talk (initiation and response). Great variability among centres within types appears to have prevented statistical difference among types (see Table 5). The content of the teacher talk data (Table 6) was analyzed using a 4 RESULTS / 58 (types of centres) x 2 (content) x 5 (centres within types) repeated measures analysis of variance design. The data showed a significant difference (F= 10.52, p<.0005) between types of centres on the amount of time teachers spent in academic vs. behavior related talk. As shown in Table 7, when Tukey's multiple comparison test was performed, a significant difference was found between day care (x = .18) and the other three types of settings: segregated centres (x = .05), reversed mainstreamed (x = .07) and nursery schools (x = .03) on the time teacher's spent addressing behavior related situations. Table 6 shows composite means for percentage of time spent by the teacher talking to the children, the directives given, and the content of the conversation. The hypothesis was rejected, there were no significant differences among the four types of programs on teacher-child interactions. The results indicate that teachers in all types of centres spend a large proportion of their time talking to children on a one-to-one basis; that teachers use relatively little praise and corrective feedback in their interactions with children; and that day care teachers spend significantly more time talking to children about matters related to misbehavior rather than academics (see Table 7). D. HYPOTHESIS 4: P A R E N T A L INVOLVEMENT It was hypothesized that there were greater expectations placed upon parents of special needs children to become involved in a range of activities in segregated programs than in mainstreamed programs. The data from the Family Support Scale revealed no significant differences among the families of children attending segregated, reversed mainstreamed, day care centres, and nursery schools on the RESULTS / 59 Table 6: Teacher Talk: Who, What, and How by Percentage of Time Composite Teacher Talk Composite • (% of time) Who One Child Two Children Small Group Large Group .67 .03 .09 .20 What Initiates: Requests or Commands Questions Instructions or Explanation Comments .19 .19 .23 .06 Responds: Statements or Questions Acknowledgements Praise Corrective Feedback .12 .13 .04 .04 How Academic Behavior .91 .08 Table 7: Breakdown of How Teachers Talk (Mean Percentage of Time) by Type of Preschool Centre How Teachers Talk Type of Centre Behavior Academic Segregated .0527* .95 Rev. Mainst. .0766* .92 Day care .1881 .81 Nursery School .0383* .96 * p<.05 S. > D.C. R.M. > D.C. N. > D.C. RESULTS / 60 adequacy of support available to them. The Family Resource Scale revealed significant lower mean score ratings between day care parents and parents of children in segregated, reversed mainstreamed centres and nursery schools on the item "good job for yourself or spouse" (F(3,7) = 7.5, p<.01) and lower mean score ratings between day care parents and nursery school parents on the item "time to be with spouse or close friend" (F(3,12) = 3.7, p<.05). Thus, we can state that in general, as only two out of forty-eight items were significantly different, all four groups of parents are demographically similar. Parents were queried about their awareness of seventeen different possible parental involvement activities. Their yes/no responses were computed by comparing them to the teacher response indicating whether the activity was offered in the program. If the teacher made an activity available to parents and the parent was aware of its existance, a score of +1 was obtained. If the teacher did not offer the opportunity, however the parent was aware of it, a score of +1 was received as well. If the teacher expressed that the opportunity was made available, however the parent was not aware of it, a score of -1 was obtained. If the teacher did not offer the opportunity for parental involvement and the parent was not aware of it a score of 0 was obtained. The data revealed no significant differences between types of centres and the awareness parents have of activities offered to them by the programs. The data showed a significant difference between day care centres (x = 9.0, s.d. = 2.0) and segregated centres (x = 14.0, s.d. = 1.00) and reversed mainstreamed centres (x = 14.6, s.d. = 1.36) on the number of parental involvement activities available to parents (see Table 8). Table 8: Parental Activities Available to Parents RESULTS / 61 Type of Centre Mean S.D. Segregated 14.0* 1.00 Rev. Mainst. 14.6* 1.36 Day care 9.0 2.00 Nursery School 12.0 2.55 * p<.0007 (Seg., Rev. Mainst. > Day Care) Table 9 shows composite frequency of the activities of which parents are aware. A 4 (types of centres) x 5 (centres within types) x 3 (parents within each centre) multiple analysis of variance nested design was used to analyze the importance ratings of the 17 items. (A 4 point importance rating scale was employed: 0 = not important, 3 = very important.) This significance test for type only had sixteen degrees of freedom associated with the error term. This was not sufficient as there were seventeen dependent variables. For the purpose of the multivariate test only, the centre factor was eliminated and a simpler design was employed, therefore parents were nested within types of care. A singly nested analysis permitted to test the significance between types using parent variation as the error term. As the Manova revealed no significance, univariate tests (d.f. = 3,56) were carried out. Comparisons between types of settings revealed significant differences on a few parental involvement ratings (see Table 10). Correlations between teacher importance ratings of parental involvement activities offered and parental ratings of activities within the types of centres were high (see Table 11). RESULTS / 62 Table 9: Frequencies of Awareness of Parental Involvement Activities Parental Involvement Activities n %' Informal contacts 59 98 Parent teacher conferences 52 87 Educational suggestions for the home 49 82 Contact with other parents 47 78 Observing in the classroom 44 73 Participating in developing program goals 43 72 Regular telephone exchanges 36 60 Attending parent parties 35 58 Attending parent education events 34 57 Participating in classroom activities 34 57 Having the teacher conduct a home visit 33 55 Attending counseling sessions 33 55 Attending parent training sessions 32 53 Belonging to a parent organization 28 47 Belonging to a parent advisory board 23 38 Making program supplies 16 26 Putting out a newsletter 14 23 1.n = 60 parents RESULTS / 63 Table 10: Comparisons on Parent Involvement Ratings Contrasted Means Groups Parent Involvement Rating: Contrasted Item xA xB F p A. Segregated & R. Main. 1. Observing in class . 3.77 3.13 3.285 .048 B. Day Care 11. Attending parent parties 2.87 1.80 3.414 .070 A. Segregated 1. Observing in class 4.00 3.13 5.474 .023 B. Day Care 5. Attending parent training sessions 3.53 3.06 3.259 .076 15. Regular telephone exchanges with teacher 3.40 2.53 3.482 .067 A. R. Main. 8. Making program supplies 2.40 1.66 4.004 .050 B. Day Care 10. Home visits by teacher 3.00 2.00 6.034 .017 11. Attending parent parties 3.06 1.80 10.939 .002 12. Educational suggestions to be carried out at hone 3.80 3.20 4.215 .045 13. Putting out a newsletter 2.40 1.66 3.388 .071 17. Contact with other parents 3.46 2.20 14.481 .001 RESULTS / 64 Table 11: Correlations Between Parent (n=60) and Teacher (n = 20) Importance  Ratings of Parental Involvement Activities in Four Types of Programs Type of Program r p Segregated .630 .003 Rev. Mainst. .743 .000 Day care .683 .001 Nursery School .606 .005 Parents and teachers of special needs preschool children consider that informal contacts between them, developing program goals together for the children, holding parent-teacher conferences, and having parents observe in the classroom are four of the most important ways parents can involve themselves in their child's program (see Table 12). Table 12: Parent and Teacher Rated Top Five Most Important Parental Involvement Activities Parent Response (n = 60) % Teacher Response (n = 20) % 1. Informal contact 66 1. Parent teacher conference 85 2. Developing goals 66 2. Developing goals 65 3. Parent teacher conference 63 3. Observing in class 65 4. Suggestions for homework 58 4. Parent training 55 5. Observing in class 45 5. Informal contact 50 It is interesting to note that out of the five parent involvement activities rated as most important by the teachers, informal contacts and parent-teacher conferences are offered by all teachers in the sample (see Table 13). Parent RESULTS / 65 Table 13: Percentages of Teachers Offering Parental Involvement Activities in  Four Types of Programs Teacher Offerings Types of Programs Segregated Rev. Main. Day Care Nursery School 1. Observing in the class 100 100 80 100 2. Participating in class 60 80 60 80 3. Program goals 80 100 80 60 4. Parent organization 100 100 20 60 5. Parent training 100 80 40 60 6. Counseling 80 60 40 60 7. Parent teacher conferences 100 100 100 100 8. Making program supplies 20 80 20 40 9. Parent education events 100 100 20 60 10. Having teacher make home visit 100 80 20 100 11. Parent parties 80 80 40 80 12. Suggestions for home activities 100 100 100 80 13. Newsletter 20 40 0 20 14. Parent advisory board 60 80 40 60 15. Telephone exchanges 100 80 80 60 16. Informal contact 100 100 100 100 17. Contact with other parents 100 100 60 80 RESULTS / 66 training, an activity considered important by the teachers, is only available in segregated settings, in 80% of the reversed mainstreamed settings, in 60% of the nursery schools, and in 40% of day care centres. Not all teachers have conferences with parents where program goals are discussed (segregated = 80%, reversed mainstreamed = 100%, day care centres = 80%, nursery schools = 60%). Hence, the hypothesis was accepted. Higher expectations exist both in segregated and reversed mainstreamed programs for parents of special needs children for involvement. Parental involvement activities are seen as an important component of the early childhood program in all types of centres by both parents and teachers. E . HYPOTHESIS 5 : SUPPORT SERVICES It was hypothesized that support services staff are more involved in segregated settings. Table 14 shows the number of centres reporting consultative and direct services by allied health disciplines to the programs and their visits pei- month. The data revealed a significant difference in the number of visits per month provided by the public health nurse to segregated programs as compared to all other types. Table 15 shows the ratings given by the teachers to the support services provided to their programs by type and as a composite mean. Therefore, the hypothesis was rejected for all support services, except for the public health nurse whose presence in segregated settings is significantly different from all others. The results indicate a low level of support service involvement in all types of preschool programs. RESULTS / 67 Table 14: Analysis of Variance of Support Services Provided to Special Needs  Preschoolers for Type of Preschool Centre Support Service Preschool Public Health Speech Social Physical Occupational Volunteer Centre Nurse Therapy worker Therapy Therapy C 1 4 4 3 1 1 _ Segregated D 5 5 1 1 1 2 V 3.40 5.60 0.80 1.79 0.80 2.80 Reversed c 5 4 1 3 1 _ Mainstreamed D 2 3 1 2 1 4 V 1.20 3.20 0.20 1.64 0.20 3.60 c 5 3 3 1 0 _ Day Care D 2 •3 2 0 0 3 V 1.00 4.60 0.20 0.00 0.00 1.80 c 5 3 2 1 0 „ Nursery D 2 4 0 0 0 2 V 1.40 3.80 0.00 0.45 0.00 2.40 Significance * ns ns ns ns ns * Significant differences between types for visits per month at a = 0.05 1 C: Consultant D: Direct V: Number of visits per month RESULTS / 68 Table 15: Teacher Ratings1 of Support Services Provided by Type of Preschool Centre Type of Preschool Centre Support Service Segregated Reversed Day Care Nursery Composite Mean Mainstreamed Public Health Nurse 3.20 2.80 2.80 3.60 3.10 (20)2 Speech Therapy 3.40 (5) 1.75 (4) 1.00 (4) 2.40 (5) 2.22 (18) Social Worker 3.50 (2) 3.00 (1) 3.33 (3) 3.50 (2) 3.38 ( 8) Physical Therapy 5.00 (1) 3.66 (3) -- 2.00 (1) 3.60 ( 5) Occupational Therapy 5.00 (1) 4.00 (1) -- -- 3.67 ( 2) Volunteer 3.50 (2) 3.00 (4) 2.50 (2) 2.00 (2) 2.80 (10) bating scale: 1 = very beneficial; 7 = of no benefit 2 The figures in brackets indicate the number of centres involved in the rating. F. SUMMARY OF THE RESULTS Hypothesis 1, concerned with the structural dimensions of the early childhood programs could not be confirmed. However, there were significant statistical differences between the scores of the segregated and reversed mainstreamed programs in the structural dimensions of the early childhood programs. Hypotheses 2 and 3 which were concerned with children and teacher interactions in the preschool settings were rejected. Hypothesis 4 which investigated parental involvement in the preschool settings was accepted. Support services to the preschool settings were addressed in hypothesis 5. Only public health nurse involvement was significantly different from all other support services. CHAPTER V. DISCUSSION This exploratory study focused on obtaining information on the processes, activities, and experiences children and parents have in early childhood classrooms in order to begin to look at how characteristics of a setting might influence the child's handicapping condition, family background, and child development. The study attempted to obtain a better understanding of the experiences special needs children and their families have in four different types of preschool environments: segregated, reversed mainstreamed, day care centres, and nursery schools. "Environment" was broadly defined, as including the structural aspects of the child care programs, the daily experiences children have in the programs, and the resources, support, and awareness parents of exceptional preschoolers have of the activities available to them as participants in these programs. A. STRUCTURAL DIMENSIONS OF THE E A R L Y CHILDHOOD PROGRAMS An index of the overall environment was obtained through The Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale (ECERS) which yielded information on the structural aspects of the preschool settings where special needs children attend. Scores obtained by segregated centres (x = 225.00) and reversed mainstreamed programs (x = 212.40) were significantly higher than those in the day care centres (x = 156.40) in this sample. These results may seem surprising to those philosophically committed to serving special needs children in the least restrictive environment, since it. might be assumed that regular settings would provide for greater stimulation. However, it is important to keep in mind that, as pointed out by Dell (1984) and Tobias and Kendall (1984), most special needs children are served in centres where the majority of children are handicapped. This has 69 DISCUSSION / 70 been the traditional way services have been delivered and it is only a recent development to have day • care centres admitting special needs children into their programs. Bailey, Clifford and Harms (1982) compared classrooms for preschool handicapped children and day care centres and found that day care centres for regular children obtained higher scores in the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale than did segregated settings, a result in direct conflict with the findings of the current study. A number of ecological, programatical, and geographical variables may account for the conflicting findings. The data from the current study identified some dimensions which might account for the difference in higher scores for segregated and reversed mainstreamed programs. One important issue that emerged was that the staff in segregated and reversed mainstreamed programs expressed different philosophical committments and programatic objectives for the children than the day care centres staff. Programs for special needs children have been developed with the exceptional child's needs as the main focus. The staff in these settings appeared to make efforts to implement procedures and practices which have been supported by the literature and have been shown to contribute towards the stimulation of development and the remediation of problems. Day care centres, on the other hand, are implemented following guidelines emanating from a governing board which licenses them and focus mainly on the health and safety of the children. Educational goals are not a requirement and therefore are not articulated in the majority of these programs. Kontos and Feine (1987) reported differences between regulatable aspects of child care, as they apply to licensing criteria, and those aspects of quality of care as determined by standards of the professionals in the DISCUSSION / 71 field. They suggest that while group child care centres are controlled by licensing regulations which establish minimum criteria for their functioning, there appear to be low measures of correlations between these and quality of care. In this sample we note that programs developed their own curricula according to the education and expertise of the staff. The accountability for the accomplishment of the program's goals rests with each centre. While the planning and responsibility to meet the needs of the special needs children rest with all of the staff members in segregated and reversed mainstreamed type of centres, it is only the teacher designated as the "special needs supervisor" who is in charge of this group in the day care centres. Even though the special needs children participate with the regular children in activities throughout the day, other staff members do not appear to take responsibility for implementing objectives delineated for the special needs children. The special needs population is seen as an added element of the program, with its own set of needs, and not as an integrated component of the day care centre. The staff does not appear to make a special effort to maximize learning opportunities for them. This pattern supports the views of Vincent et al. (1980) and Tawney (1981) who express concern that mainstreamed settings may not have the degree of precision and consistency found in specialized programs which are of great importance in considering the complex needs of some children. The fact that segregated and reversed mainstreamed settings obtained higher scores than day care settings may be attributable to factors outside the immediate setting, namely financial resources and staff training. The lack of financial support allocated to the day care centres places constraints on the centres to secure added resources, to provide ongoing training for the teachers, DISCUSSION / 72 and to develop appropriate objectives for the children. There is little opportunity for staff in-service training, program development, planning for team teaching, and to access support services from outside the centre. Segregated and reversed mainstreamed programs on the other hand are supported by organizations or Boards of Directors which try to facilitate these activities to a fuller extent by obtaining funding from a variety of sources. These centres not only obtain day care stipends for their children from the Ministry of Social Services and Housing and also obtain private agency funds allotted to the needs of the handicapped population. Fund raising is very much part of the administrative structure of the these institution. Staff training also may account for program differences in quality. It may be that teachers with more training in early childhood and special education prefer working in segregated and reversed mainstreamed early childhood programs, since these settings are oriented towards serving the handicapped population. These settings may possibly employ teachers who are better prepared to work with special needs children. Teachers in these settings have the advantage of working in an atmosphere where the goal is the remediation and or amelioration of handicaps within a team teaching approach with a smaller teacher-child ratio than in regular day care centres. Teachers in the segregated and reversed mainstreamed settings also have greater opportunities for professional development. In a recent report from the Ontario Ministay of Community and Social Services (1988), reference is made to the fact that teachers identified skepticism amongst staff, lack of information, and direction on integration as the main problems in mainstreaming special needs children into regular programs. These issues, also relevant to the teachers in this sample, influence the quality of the environment DISCUSSION / 73 available to children. Teachers need time and financial resources in order to provide families and children with carefully thought out integrated programs which will enhance the learning oportunities of the children in attendance. At the present time segregated and reversed mainstreamed programs offer higher quality preschool programs for special needs children in the community sampled than mainstreamed day care centres and nursery schools. The data do not refute the philosophy of normalization and should not be interpreted as a recommendation to foster segregated settings. However, as the community attempts to ensure that handicapped children are provided with normative services, efforts need to be made towards improving the quality of all day care centres into which special needs children are integrated. B. CHILD-CHILD INTERACTION In looking at the preschool environments in this study, one important component analyzed was the developmentally delayed child's spontaneous play involvement with other children. Children's play influences social, language and cognitive skills, areas of concern to early childhood practitioners (Elder, and Pederson, 1978; Fein, 1979; Garvey, 1974, 1977; Piaget, 1955, 1962; Rubin, Maioni, and Hornug 1976; Sponseller, 1978; Sutton-Smith, 1967, 1978; Vygotsky, 1967). This researcher wanted to find out whether the way children were grouped in a program influenced their social participation and intellectual involvement with other children. Integration in preschool settings has occured mainly in order to expose handicapped children to more complex and sophisticated levels of play. Educators have wanted to show that by exposing special needs children to normally DISCUSSION / 74 developing peers they will become involved with other children in increasingly more intricate systems of sociodramatic play which will increase social competency. As noted above, measures of children's social and cognitive play showed that there were large differences in the results from site to site within the same type of program. However, no significant statistical differences were obtained between segregated, reversed mainstreamed, day care centres, and nursery schools on child-child interactions. This finding does not allow for a different characterization of children's play between each type of program. This suggests that a program label itself should not necessarily carry a connotation of specific types of experiences and interactions with other children. Some researchers have reported that, compared to normally developing children, handicapped children play less with other children as they do not elicit interaction from others. However, the play of handicapped children is positively influenced by interacting with normally developing peers (Beckman, 1983; Dunlop, Stoneman and Cantrell, 1980; Federlein, 1981; Guralnick, 1981, 1988; Ispa and Matz, 1978; Novack et al, 1980; White, 1980). In this sample, children's play did not seem to be determined by the composition of children in the centres. Whether all children in a program were special needs children or there was a heterogeneous group made no difference in the children's play modality. The composite means of social and intellectual play of special needs children reveal that the greatest percentage of time is spent in parallel play (32%) followed by solitary play (28%) and associative play (24%). Cooperative play is extremely rare (4%). Constructive (42%) and functional play (36%) are the the most frequent cognitive types of play while dramatic play is very low (9%). DISCUSSION / 75 The results of this study correspond with the findings of Guralnick (1981, 1988) and Ispa and Matz (1978), Rogers-Warren et al. (1981), Fredericks et al. (1978) who have reported that the dominant type of play observed for children in preschool classrooms, regardless of their developmental levels, are parallel play and solitary play. This study confirms the findings of Rogers-Warren et al. (1981), and Fenrick et al. (1984) who have reported that children spent very little time spent in cooperative play. This study however, found that peer availability did not make a difference when comparing styles of play in different types of programs. This contradicts Peterson and Haralick's (1977) study describing the fact that isolated play predominated when handicapped children were the only available peers for non-handicapped children to play with and Guralnick's (1988) research reporting that special needs children engaged in higher rates of social interaction in mainstreamed settings. Observations of play of the forty special needs children were conducted during the scheduled 'free play' time in the twenty centres. Very few times did the observers see adults interacting (encouraging, playing, modeling, questioning) with the children. In most cases children engaged in activities of their choice without teacher intervention. When looking at the low percentage of time special needs children spent in cooperative play and dramatic play in all types of centres, it is suggested that teachers consider their role in structuring play activities for children, in order to enable their play to reach more sophisticated levels. Researchers have indicated that children's play modalities improve in settings where the teachers structure the environment for play acquisition. Teachers need to incorporate strategies into their daily programs which will DISCUSSION / 76 stimulate children's play to progress, as children's involvement in play situations influence their language skills, cognitive functions, and social behaviors (Appoloni and Cooke, 1975; Bricker, 1978; Burstein, 1986; Fein, 1979; Guralnick, 1978, 1988; Peterson, 1982; Pol et al, 1985; O'Connell, 1984; Odom, Strain, Karger, Smith, 1986; Rogers, 1988). C. TEACHER-CHILD INTERACTION Studies conducted in day care centres with normally developing children have reported that verbally stimulating environments are beneficial to children and that the frequency of informational utterances by the teachers is positively correlated with the quality of the setting (McCartney, 1984; Phillips, Scarr and McCartney, 1987; Goelman and Pence, 1987a,b). No similar information exists for preschool programs for special needs children. This study examined teacher-child interactions to gather data on teacher talk in four types of programs and to provide information on yet another aspect of the child's daily experiences. In this sample, there were no statistically significant differences among types of programs in respect to whom the teachers directed their conversations or the directives given. Teachers in all programs spent a greater percentage of time directing their talk to one child (67%) rather than small groups (9%) or large groups (20%). This could be interpreted to mean that teachers of young children are aware of the importance of reaching children at the child's own level of understanding. Again, it is important to note that great variance existed within types of centres. Teachers' initiation of conversations (67%) were more predominant than their responses to conversations initiated by the children (33%). Teacher's requests DISCUSSION / 77 or commands (19%), questions (19%), and explanations to children (23%) comprised approximately an even amount of time. Teachers made few task related comments or remarks (6%). Praise and corrective feedback were observed very rarely in this sample (4%). The field of special education has widely acknowledged the importance of the use of reinforcing consequences to develop and mantain desired behavior (Adubato et aL, 1981; Allen, 1981; Baker and Heifetz, 1976; 1980; Bluma et al, 1976; Hewett, 1974; Koontz, 1974; Lerner and Mardell, 1981; Neisworth and Bagnato, 1987). Specific feedback about children's performance is a useful strategy for the teacher to use to inform and direct the child towards appropriate behavior. This however does not seem to be a strategy in much use in the programs sampled. Practitioners in this community should consider the place of reinforcement and verbal prompts in their work with exceptional children. The content of the teachers' conversations differed significantly between segregated programs, reversed mainstreamed programs, nursery schools and day care centres. Teachers in day care centres were observed more frequently controlling behavior than their colleagues in the other settings. This finding leads the writer to remind readers of McCartney's (1984) findings indicating that high proportions of control utterances from the day care teachers were negative predictors of language development in children. Studies have related quality of day care centres for regular children to children's free play activities and adult-child verbal interactions. It is usually in high quality settings where teachers stimulate children verbally that children engage in higher levels of play (Vandell and Powers, 1983; Goelman and Pence, 1987a,b; Phillips, Scarr and McCartney, 1987; Vandell and Powers, 1983). DISCUSSION / 78 Roger's (1988) statement that "handicapped children's play is as affected by understimulating environments, lack of close relationships, and lack of appropriate language and social models as the nonhandicapped children's play" (p. 165), leads this researcher to suggest that a future investigation should inspect the data in terms of patterns of relationships between teacher talk and child play in settings for special needs children and relate them to the quality of the environment. D. AWARENESS AND PRIORITIES OF PARENTAL ROLES The study also assessed how different types of programs influence and are influenced by the families of special needs children. It was hypothesized that there would be higher expectations of parents of special needs children in segregated programs to become involved in a range of activities than in mainstreamed programs. This study found that both segregated and reversed mainstreamed type of programs differed significantly from day care centres on the number of parent involvement activities available to the family. This is possibly attributed to the fact that, as stated before, program philosophies and goals differed according to the types of programs. Segregated and reversed mainstreamed programs advocate for a strong parent involvement component. These programs acknowledge the fact that childrens' handicaps add stresses to the family dynamics which need to be addressed. Administrators and teachers see their preschool programs as the institutions that need to support the parents. On the other hand, the fewer opportunities for involvement available to parents in the day care centres may be attributed to several factors: the long operating hours of the day care centre make it impossible for the teachers to spend time away from the children; the lack of financial resources to hire a DISCUSSION / 79 parent worker or allow for a substitue to free the teacher to work with the parent; the fact that the day care teachers may feel they cannot ask for greater involvement given that they are serving the working parent who may not have the time or energy for this committment; and the lack of awareness in part of the day care teachers of the benefits for parents and children to parent participation and parent teacher communication. This finding is consistant with Powell (1980) who suggested that information exchange between parents and caregivers in day care centres is very superficial and that there are minimal attempts to coordinate children's socialization process. It is interesting to note that the correlations between teachers and parents in all four types of programs on the importance ratings of parental involvement activities were very high. Parents in all types of programs seem to be satisfied with the program's offerings. Parents were pleased with the staffs positive attitude towards their family, the teachers' professional commitment, encouragement, their openness, honesty, dedication, qualities which enhanced their child's progress. The sense of support which parents feel emanates from the professionals in the field is also reflected in the high ratings parents gave the item regarding help from professional helpers and special needs early childhood programs available to them in the Family Support Scale. Parents of children in segregated and reversed mainstreamed settings commented on how pleased they were with the progress children had made. Parents of children in day care centres and nursery schools recognized the value of having their children cared for eight to ten hours a day in a normal setting while participating in activities with regular peers and receiving special services. Parents and teachers of all programs agreed on four out of the five most DISCUSSION / 80 important parent involvement activities available to them. Both groups were in accordance that informal contacts between the family and the centres, parent-teacher conferences, observing in the classroom and developing program goals were the most significant activities in their environments. While parents included 'educational suggestions, worksheets, checklists to be carried out at home' in their list of the top five activities, teachers rated 'opportunity for parents to attend parent training sessions' as their top choice. In other words, parents wanted teachers to show them how they could get involved with their children in their home in eductional activities and teachers felt that before they could give them homework and educational suggestions, parents should attend parent training sessions. Parents and teachers seem to be in agreement that parents can provide for stimulation at home provided they understand what their child's educational and therapeutic needs are. Past studies have found that teachers' expectations of parental involvement differ from parents' expectations. Teachers usually request more involvement than families are willing to engage in. Blacher and Turnbull (1982) and Cadman et al. (1984) had reported different preferences and levels of importance by parents and clinicians on parent involvement. Gallagher et al. (1984) and De Berry et al. (1984) for example, reported low levels of parent participation in the preschool programs they surveyed. Winton and Turnbull (1981) noted that parents did not want the preschool setting to provide training programs for them, although, they sought involvement on an informal level. In the current study, parents of special needs children rated informal contact with the teacher as the top five most important parent involvement activity. However, formal opportunities for participation such as DISCUSSION / 81 developing program goals for their child, attending parent-teacher conferences, suggestions for work to be carried out at home and observing in their child's classroom were also on the list. This suggests that parents of exceptional children feel responsible for their children's well being and have been made aware of their importance in their children's development process. In this sample parents did not define what resources they required to help them with their children. Their responses related to questions pertaining to the activities teachers provided for them. This study raises the question of trying to ascertain what is the best way to find out what parents want in terms of support for themselves and their family. Parents felt that, although their concerns about having an exceptional child might always be present, teachers in the programs were very helpful in finding solutions to immediate problems. Most parents felt that their teachers helped them obtain a more realistic understanding of their child's competencies and helped them strengthen their parenting role. E. SUPPORT SERVICES Special educators have recognized that a teacher needs to call on the expertize of other professionals to share in the responsibility of providing an adequate program for the special needs child. The literature has described the importance of developing programs that link interdisciplinary assessments with programming goals (Hewett, 1974; Lerner et al., 1981; Meisels, 1979; Ministry of National Health and Welfare Canada, 1978; Neisworth and Bagnato, 1987; Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services, 1988; Thurman and Widerstrom, 1985). DISCUSSION / 82 Interdisciplinary teams of professionals bring unique skills which contribute to the enhancement of the curriculum. All model programs have described how teachers need to work together with support services, and P.L. 94-142 in the United States, requires that individualized educational programs be developed for the child's education as well as other therapeutic needs. It is disturbing to find that in this sample, preschool programs for special needs children receive very little support from allied health services. On the average, speech therapists made 4.3 visits per month to a centre, public health nurses 1.75 visits, physical therapists .97 visits per month, social worker and occupational therapy involvement was negligible. Special needs children usually exhibit complex behaviors which require multidimensional approaches. It is not possible to attempt to meet all the needs of exceptional children in a single discipline. Teachers in this community find themselves solely responsible for meeting the needs of the children and their parents. It is only in segregated programs where only the public health nurses appear to be providing more support. Overall there is a clear inability to provide a team approach to program planning and implementation. The amount and type of support services vary across geographical regions. Different policies are enacted within regions in close proximity. Each centre's administrative characteristics affect each operation. For example, some programs are able to afford private consultants, others cannot. A few programs in this sample had marginal involvement with social workers, however, they were assigned to work with families, rather than with centres. Therefore, children whom the staff may have felt were in need of a social worker, did not necessarily obtain such services. Centre staff described access to social services as DISCUSSION / 83 difficult and inconsistant. As the reader can appreciate, events occuring in this external setting directly relate to processes occuring within the programs children attend which, in turn, affect development in the children. The same concerns regarding lack of support services to programs serving special needs children and their families is expressed in the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services report (1988). The report indicates that the success of integration of handicapped children in regular day nursery programs depend on special resource personnel such as speech, physical and occupational therapists, psychologists, case managers, and specially trained early childhood educators. It notes the short supply of resources and recommends that strategies for ease of accessibility of support services to community programs be identified and reviewed. It appears that the challenge lies in developing support services to preschool programs within the parameters of the Canadian reality in order to enhance program effectiveness. F. LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY The limitations of the study are: 1. The sample consisted of children and families from an urban setting in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. This province has no legal requirements for the education of preschool special needs children. Given this geo-political situation the results may not be generalizable to other areas of Canada and the U.S. 2. This study was limited to children with developmental delays and did not consider other handicapping conditions. 3. Developmental status was not a focus of the study; therefore outcome DISCUSSION / 84 measures of children's progress were not reported. 4. Although a number of other variables could have been included in the study of early childhood environments, this study was limited to five: structure of the setting, child-child interaction, teacher-child interaction, parental involvement, and support services. G. CONCLUSION These results provide some insight into the experiences preschool special needs children, their parents and teachers have in four different types of settings. This research did not intend to determine which type of program is best for special needs children, but tried to understand what happens to children during their participation in these programs. Thus, this study can be considered a first attempt to evaluate options for placement of expectional children in early childhood settings. The four different types of placement options which were studied in this sample suggest that there are some differences in the experiences children and parents undergo, but to a lesser extent than their labels suggest. Results also revealed that differences among centres of the same categories are large, and that this variation needs to be taken into account when considering placement. Traditionally, special needs children have attended programs geared to meet their needs in segregated settings. In the last decade, the philosophy of normalization has influenced community members and programs, and facilities have interpreted integration in a variety of ways. Integration has come to connote a normal and desirable environment with opportunities for higher levels of social development and complex communication patterns. The fact that day DISCUSSION / 85 care centres in this sample obtained a significantly lower rating for quality of the environment implies that children in these settings are not being provided with the extra support needed to ensure that they participate in a range of learning experiences which will help them develop optimally. However, when looking at preschool programs for special needs children what seems most important is to look at the characteristics of the particular setting without the stigmatization of traditional labels and then fit them to the needs of a particular family and child. From this sample we can see that each type of program offers some distinctive features. The segregated programs offer a high quality environment with emphasis placed on offering a variety of experiences to the children and attention paid to individualized education programs. Children in these programs spent 33% of their time involved in solitary play activities, while 24% was spent in associative play, 21% in parallel play, and 7% in cooperative play. Children were involved in constructive play 48% of their time, functional play 27%, and dramatic play 10%. Inactive time constituted 14% of their free play time. Teachers addressed children 73% of the time on a one-to-one basis and most of their interactions involved academic concerns. Parents in segregated programs had the opportunity to participate in many different activities offered to them. Parents in these programs rated opportunity to observe in their child's classroom, attending parent training sessions and regular telephone exchanges with their child's teachers as significantly more important than parents of day care children. Segregated centres received significantly more visits per months by public health nurses, were served by the speech therapist on an average of 5.60 times per month, and have social work, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and DISCUSSION / 86 volunteer input in the program. The reversed mainstreamed setting provide an opportunity for the special needs child to come together with some regular children in a structured environment. These settings also received high scores in the environmental rating scale. Special needs children in these centres played in a parallel mode 30% of the time, in associative play 27% of the time, in solitary play 24% of the time, and 3% cooperatively. They spent 40% of the time in constructive play while 36% of time was spent in functional play, 9% in dramatic play, and 15% inactive. Teachers in these settings directed conversations to children mainly on a one-to-one basis (69%). Parents were seen as important components of the setting, and programs provided as many activities for their participation as segregated settings. Parents in reversed mainstreamed settings considered six parent involvement activities significantly more important than parents of children in day care centres. These activities were: making program supplies, home visits by teachers, attending parent parties, educational suggestions to be carried out at home, putting out a newsletter, and contact with other parents. Reversed mainstreamed programs received less support services than segregated centres. The public health nurse was only available 1.20 visits per month, speech therapist 3.20 visits, physical therapist 1.64, social worker, and occupational therapist .20 visits a month. Day care centres in this sample received the lowest scores on the Early Childhood Environment Rating Scale of all types of programs observed. The day care centres were all licensed and had passed minimum standards. However, ECERS subscale scores on personal care, furnishings and display, language reasoning experiences, fine and gross motor activities, and social development DISCUSSION / 87 were significantly lower than segregated and reversed mainstreamed programs. Children in day care centres spent 39% of their free play time in parallel play, 30% in solitary play, 23% in associative play, and 4% in cooperative play. 50% of time was spent on functional play, 32% on constructive play, 8% in dramatic play, and 10% inactive. Teachers in day care centres spent less percentage of time than teachers in the other types of programs, addressing children on a one to one basis (62%), and more time addressing children in groups (25%). There also was a significantly greater percentage of time spent in behavior rather than academic concerns by the teachers. Day care centres offered parents significantly less opportunities for involvement. Support services to day care centres were as follows: 1 visit per month by the health nurse, 4.6 by the speech therapist, .20 by the social worker, no physical or occupational therapist were available. Nurserj' school programs, integrated settings which serve special needs children on a half time basis, scored between the reversed mainstreamed programs and the day care centres in their ratings of quality of the environment. Although the scores obtained in the ECERS were higher than the day care scores, no statistically significant differences were noted. Children in nursery schools played 43% of the time in a parallel mode, 24% solitary play, 19% in associative play, and 1% in cooperative play. Children spent 48% of their time in constructive play, 32% in functional play, 8% in dramatic play, and 12% of their time was spent inactively. Teachers spent 65% of their time talking to children on an individual basis and 19% addressing large groups of children. Parents of nursery school children were offered a fair amount of parental involvement activities (12 out of 17). Support services to nursery school were as follows: 1.4 visits a month by the public health nurse, 3.8 visits by the speech DISCUSSION / 88 therapist, .45 visits by the physical therapist. There was no social work nor occupational therapy involvement in these programs. The goals of early childhood intervention programs are to create facilitative environments which will produce meaningful results. This research was conducted to obtain a description of program components in order to gain a better understanding of the programmatic factors that facilitate early intervention. CHAPTER VI. IMPLICATIONS OF THE STUDY A. EDUCATIONAL IMPLICATIONS This study found that developmentally delayed 3 to 5 year old children were served in different types of programs regardless of their specific handicapping conditions. Special needs children participating in early childhood programs experience a wide variation in the opportunity to play with other children, interact with their teachers, obtain therapy from allied health professionals, have their parents participate in activities in their centres, and attend quality programs. All programs do not serve the special needs children equally well. The segregated programs in this sample obtained a higher rating in the overall quality as measured by the E.C.E.R.S. than any other type of program and one would assume these to be excellent settings for an exceptional child. However, it must be kept in mind that the greatest number of children in segregated settings are severely handicapped and that these programs do not offer the developmentally delayed child the opportunity for systematic contact with non-handicapped children. One advantage of this type of program is the fact that children's educational and therapeutic programs are monitored closely. This type of program establishes close communication between the family and the centre and provides parents with many opportunity for participation. Children in day care centres and nursery schools are placed in mainstreamed settings to allow them the opportunity of being in an environment that places more appropriate demands on them. These settings are seen as promoting social competence. However, although the opportunity for maximizing contact between the special 89 IMPLICATIONS OF THE STUDY / 90 needs child and his non-handicapped peer is optimal in a day care centre, the lower quality of the day care settings, the lack of any significant higher levels of child-child interaction, the decreased opportunity for parent participation, do not suggest that children would thrive any better. The reversed mainstreamed setting, which offers a good quality of environment and opportunities for the developmentaly delayed child to interact with regular peers, may still have a connotation of a specialized facility. As these settings are operated by societies which address the needs of exceptional persons, . it indirectly affects the way children and their families are viewed by the community. Different types of programs should exist to suit families with special needs children. No one type of program is optimal for all children since the special needs population covers such a wide range of handicapping conditions. A continuum of placement options from segregated settings to fully integrated settings with movement across programs should be available, provided that all early childhood centres in the community are rated as high quality programs. The philosophy of normalization encourages placement of children in the least restrictive environment. However, attention needs to be given to the match between a setting and the needs of the children and their families. Therefore a range of settings from very controlled, teacher-directed ones to ones which are more child-oriented, more process oriented, and less product oriented need to be made available to fit the special need of each student. Flexibility should also exist so that placements can be recommended on a short-time basis or a part time basis where special services are supplemented with regular ones. Placement options should be those that are appropriate for a particular child, not only those which are available in a particular geographical location. The concern is that the IMPLICATIONS OF THE STUDY / 91 preschool programs in this sample accepted referrals from parents, infant development programs and or preschool screening committees which limited their referrals to programs in their municipalities, where the range of choices was restricted. The following issues need to be considered in order to ensure high quality care for special needs preschool children and their families: 1. administrative issues: development of systematic provincial child find and screening procedures of children at risk of handicapping conditions; coordination of the appropriate amounts and types of educational and therapeutic services to be provided to a child and his family; planning for the physical, social, and educational integration of children in programs; determining how movement from one program to the other is best accomplished for the child and his family; determining how interdisciplinary support staff may be used most efficiently, as for example through the creation of itinerant personnel positions; monitoring program quality, child progress, and caregivers' pre-service and in-service needs. 2. issues with families: identification of family needs, parental perspectives and parental satisfaction with the placement of their child; family goals; facilitation of social and emotional support; facilitation of parental information, education, and linkage with community resources. 3 . issues with children: matching education and therapy with the child's needs; making adequate support services available to the children; evaluating children's gains in the preschool settings; making allowances for services across types of settings if a child and/or family needs require them. 4. issues with staff: evaluation of the staffs committment to the philosophy of IMPLICATIONS OF THE STUDY / 92 normalization, willingness to design new learning classroom environments, competencies needed to meet the needs of the exceptional child, evaluation of the staffs ability to translate diagnostic information to educational practices, link assessment information to the selection of objectives, and implement group and individualized education; staffs willingness to collaborate with parents and inter-agency personnel; provision for inservice training and professional development. Consideration should be given to increasing the responsibility and accountability of the Provincial Community Care Facilities Licensing Board, the interministerial committee which has the responsibility for setting guidelines for preschool programs in the province. This board could serve as the agency which coordinates all services for preschool children with special needs and their families from birth to the early elementary school years. A recent White Paper from The Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children (Garland, Woodruff and Buck, 1988) supports the notion of case management as a "mechanism for linking and coordinating segments of a service delivery system, within a single agency or involving several providers, to ensure the most comprehensive program for meeting an individual client's needs for care" (Austin, 1983). By accepting the responsibility of a case management role, the Provincial Community Care Facilities Licensing Board would be accountable for: 1) articulating systematic and comprehensive standards for the education and therapy of the special needs child; 2) monitoring program quality; 3) coordinating and monitoring screening procedures, assessment, and effective delivery of services; 4) matching the child's needs and family needs with settings that would provide for them; 5) evaluating services and interministerial cooperation; 6) setting IMPLICATIONS OF THE STUDY / 93 comprehensive program standard for teacher preparation and ongoing professional development; 7) advocating on behalf of the families served; and 8) ensuring smooth transitions in the delivery of services from infancy into the public school system. Personnel from the central agency who are aware of community resources, who cooperate with service providers, who are knowledgeable of the special population needs, who posses an understanding of family dynamics and have good communication and management skills would be designated as case managers of special needs children and their families. By reorganizing the service delivery system for preschool special needs children, strengthening an existing agency and building collaborative relationships among organizations, a comprehensive approach to serving the special needs child and family can be attained. Such an approach would move towards ensuring an equality of services, regardless of geographical locations due to the articulation and standarization of practices intended, and the search for inter-agency collaborations. Presently, guidelines for serving special needs children are very vague. There are no mandates that enforce services and there are no regulations that ensure provision of services. There is no accountability for a high quality delivery of services. The responsibility for program funding, program development, monitoring, and evaluation needs to be spelled out and carried out in a socially and financially responsible manner. Having one central agency monitor, evaluate program components, and make provisions for improvement would assure a more equitable early education program to all children. By serving as a central clearinghouse for information and quality control the Provincial Community Care Facilities Licensing Board would also contribute towards providing early childhood special education teachers with a sense of belonging and a degree of IMPLICATIONS OF THE STUDY / 94 professionalism which at present is lacking in the field. Programs need to prepare the child for their next environment, i.e. the public school. In many of the observed programs, the researcher found school aged children who were being retained in preschool programs because the public school system did not find them "ready" for school. School districts have taken different positions about offering special services for children of kindergarten age. Some districts will accept a special needs child for the two and half hours a day and hire a child care worker to accompany the child, others will wait until grade one before accepting the child in school. Some districts have a public school representative in the local 'pre school screening committee' (a committe set up to plan for the .delivery of services to the birth to five population) and therefore can account for those children early on. Many kindergarten classes in the public schools have special needs children enrolled who are chronologically older than the non-handicapped children. There is no systematic approach to the education of young exceptional children. The province should require school districts to become involved in planning for special needs children earlier in their lives. If the school districts accept the responsibility of the education of the special needs youngsters, they could make provisions for their early identification and educational programming. A greater degree of inter-agency collaboration between the Community Care Facilities Licensing Board and the public schools needs to be developed to assure service delivery, lack of duplication, and continuity of services. The British Columbia Report of the Royal Commission on Education (Province of British Columbia, 1988) makes it quite clear that: 1) although the Commission recognized the changes which have occurred within Canadian families IMPLICATIONS OF THE STUDY / 95 and the need to be responsive to 55% of British Columbian mothers working outside the home with children between the ages of three and five; and 2) that there is a concern by the public to extend public educational services beyond kindergarten, their mandate did not allow them to look at pre school services. The Royal Commission Report (Province of British Columbia, 1988) recommends that "developmental criteria rather than chronological age be used in selecting the educational placement of children entering school" (p.93). Age appropriate placement and instruction has been recognized in the early childhood special education literature as "best practice" strategies (Certo, 1983; Fox, Thousand, Williams, Fox, Towne, Reid, Conn-Powers, Calcagni, 1986; McDonnell and Hardman, 1988). It is socially inappropriate to place exceptional children always with younger non-handicapped peers. As we have seen in this study, a number of developmentally delayed children are being retained in the early childhood programs due to the fact that they are not "developmentally ready" for kindergarten. The Royal Commission's recommendation needs to be questioned since this practice may lead to the discrimination against special needs children who may be denied access to public school education. Contact between early childhood centres and school boards is very important. There are advantages to the public schools to become aware of the special needs child as early as possible. Family background information, diagnostic information, preschool records of child functioning levels and performance, can all be valuable to the schools which need to secure services for the new student. Transition to the public schools is a stressful time for parents and children. On-going contact and communication can aleviate many expectations and concerns. The Royal Commission's report recommends that special needs children and IMPLICATIONS OF THE STUDY / 96 their families be provided with social and health services, however not by the school system. It recommends that schools can be the site where services are delivered, but funding should come from the Ministries of Social Services and Housing, Health and the office of the Attorney General. Interministerial cooperation is recommended in order to prevent a drain on the financial resources of the school system. Hence the importance of strengthening the central agency which would guarantee equality of services below school age. When 60 parents of special needs children were asked to identify sources of support in their every day life and the degree to which these sources have been helpful to them in raising a young child, the highests scores were obtained by sources outside of their immediate family or social circle. Parents felt that they obtained most support from the early childhood program their child attended and from professional helpers such as therapists, social workers, and physicians. Given this reality, consideration should be given to the fact that the early childhood programs are perceived as very strong institutions. These centres could be locations for the delivery of a number of social and educational interventions to families in need. Early childhood programs already must assume a considerable social and educational responsibility for the families in the program and deserve more recognition by government agencies. B. R E S E A R C H IMPLICATIONS The purpose of this ecological study was to generate hypotheses for future study. Based on the results of this research the following hypotheses can be generated: Special needs children in high quality early childhood settings will show IMPLICATIONS OF THE STUDY / 97 greater advances in development than children in lower quality settings. Teachers with training in early childhood special education will design higher quality preschool environments than teachers without such training. Integrated high quality day care settings provide more opportunities for language and social development than segregated settings in terms of teacher-child interactions and positive child-child interactions. Teachers in day care centres which have multidisciplinary support services will be able to translate diagnostic information to educational practices and implement better educational and therapeutic objectives. A case management approach to serving special needs preschool children will allow for adequate coordination and monitoring of early childhood programs. This study examined the data obtained from 20 community based centres to document structural dimensions, interactions, family involvement, and support services in four types of early childhood programs for special needs children. Through this study a more precise picture of the forms and features of these programs was obtained. However, many questions remain unanswered. More information is needed about the settings: How do early childhood settings contribute towards the social competence of handicapped children? What roles do teachers play throughout the day? What activities occupy children's time? Recently, an 'Ecobehavioral' system was recently proposed for the assessment of complex preschool environments to help understand what components of the classroom promote effectiveness in children (Carta, 1988). In this type of assessment, ecological variables such as classroom activities, activity initiator, materials, location, groupings, composition; teacher variables such as teacher IMPLICATIONS OF THE STUDY / 98 definitions, teacher behavior, teacher focus, and student behavior variables, such as target behaviors, competing behaviors, and talk are observed in order to obtain a better understanding of the classrooms. Future studies using this kind of assessment on types of preschool settings would be valuable to tease out more specific information on the characteristics of segregated, reversed mainstreamed, and mainstreamed programs. Detailed case studies of individual children in various settings could also contribute towards addressing questions regarding the appropriateness of children's placement. Evaluating child progress was not a goal of this study. Future research demonstrating child progress using standarized measures of language, cognition, and social behaviour in the four different types of programs would be important to policy makers and practitioners. Similar outcome measures obtained from non-handicapped children in reversed mainstreamed programs, day care centres and nursery school programs to see if these children respond differently when they are with special needs children in different settings would also be of interest. This study involved a small sample of each type of program which accepts special needs preschool children. Future studies could identify a larger number of programs per type and study additional program characteristics and their relationships, such as for example: teacher education 'and quality of interactions with children; children's competence and amount of interaction; and the differences in interaction that may exist in high quality versus low quality centres. A future study could also relate teacher-child interaction, child-child interaction, and quality of the environment to child outcome measures. Additional information is also needed on new methodologies required to IMPLICATIONS OF THE STUDY / 99 develop appropriate skills in the young special needs child. This study noted that special needs children were involved in very little cooperative and dramatic play. Is this mostly associated with the difficulty many children with cognitive impairments have with developing abstract and imaginative modes of thinking? Could this situation be altered if teachers and program organizers would structure the environment differently? The teachers in these programs provided little stimulation for expanding play or language. As noted previously, some studies of mainstreaming have shown that adults need to structure the environment for relationships and communication to occur in the preschool setting. Little information exists about the kinds of techniques and strategies that would increase social and cognitive play behavior in the context of the classroom setting for special needs preschoolers and the amount of adult interaction necessary to sustain the behavior. Research needs to address questions concerning which environmental manipulations facilitate maintenance and generalization of skills. The data from this study suggests that parents are aware of opportunities for parental involvement available and consider them an important component of an early childhood program. This study allowed for a better understanding of the activities offered to parents in the different types of preschool programs. Given, " that day care centres provide parents with less opportunity for involvement in the centre and the education of their young children, practitioners, and researchers will need to identify and study ways of reaching working parents which would take into account: parenting needs, personal needs, time factors, and stresses related to the work force and the handicapping condition of their child. Although the data from this study allowed for a better understanding of the amount of time allotted by allied health professionals to intervene with IMPLICATIONS OF THE STUDY / 100 preschool special needs children, research is needed to explore the most cost effective ways of serving and supporting early childhood staff in their work. The use of case management models (Garland, Woodruff, Buck; 1988) and itinerant support staff models for this community needs to be studied. 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Sum of Squares Mean Squares F Ratio F Prob. Between Groups 3 200.9500 66.9833 5.7994 .0070 Within Groups 16 184.8000 11.5500 Total 19 385.7500 Furnishing Subscale by Type of Preschool Setting Between Groups 3 136.1500 Within Groups 16 144.4000 Total 19 280.5500 45.3833 9.0250 5.0286 .0121 Language Subscale by Type of Preschool Setting Between Groups 3 317.2000 Within Groups 16 197.6000 Total 19 514.8000 105.7333 12.3500 8.5614 Between Groups 3 294.0000 Within Groups 16 220.0000 Total 19 514.0000 98.0000 13.7500 7.1273 .0013 Fine/Gross Motor Subscale by Type of Preschool Setting .0030 Creative Subscale by Type of Preschool Setting Between Groups 3 430.5500 Within Groups 16 402.0000 Total 19 832.5500 143.5167 25.1250 5.7121 .0074 Table A l continued / 117 Social Subscale by Type of Preschool Setting Source D.F. Sum of Squares Mean Squares F Ratio F Prob. Between Groups 3 505.8000 168.6000 8.0286 .0017 Within Groups 16 336.0000 21.0000 Total 19 . 841.8000 Adults Subscale by Type of Preschool Setting Between Groups 3 206.5500 68.8500 2.7790 .0749 Within Groups 16 396.4000 24.7750 Total 19 602.9500 ECERS Total Scores by Type of Preschool Setting Between Groups 3 13494.6000 4498.2000 10.3711 .0005 Within Groups 16 6939.6000 433.7250 Total 19 20434.2000 Table A2: Pearson Correlations Between the Subscales of the Early Childhood  Environment Rating Scale Furnishings-Display Language-Reasoning Fine/Gross Motor Creative 1.000 0.567 0.495 0.468 1.000 0.661 0.389 1.000 0.450 1.000 Cronbach's Alpha for the Composite = 0.74 APPENDIX B R E P E A T E D MEASURES ANALYSES OF VARIANCE OF F R E E PLAY 118 / 119 Table BI: Repeated Measures Analyses of Variance of Free Play Social Subscale Source Error Term Sum of Squares D.F. Mean Squares F Ratio F Prob. Mean C(T) 8.0008 1 8.0008 T C(T) 0.10001E-06 3 0.33335E-07 0.61 0.6206 S CS(T) 2.0454 4 0.51135 23.79 0.0000 C(T) K(TC) 0.87999E-06 16 0.54999E-07 0.61 0.8395 TS CS(T) 0.35772 12 0.29810E-01 1.39 0.1956 K(TC) 0.18001E-05 20 0.90003E-07 CS(T) KS(TC) 1.3759 64 0.21498E-01 1.78 0.0074 KS(TC) 0.96754 80 0.12094E-01 Intellectual Subscale Mean CCD 9.9990 1 9.9990 T C(T) 0.25011E-07 3 0.83371E-08 0.14 0.9343 I CI(T) 3.2760 3 1.0920 23.74 0.0000 C(T) K(TC) 0.95002E-06 16 0.59376E-07 0.79 0.6792 T l CI(T) 0.47817 9 0.53130E-01 1.15 0.3447 K(TC) 0.15000E-05 20 0.75001E-07 CI(T) KI(TC) 2.2081 48 0.46001E-01 3.14 0.0000 KI(TC) 0.87963 60 0.14660E-01 APPENDIX C . R E P E A T E D MEASURES A N A L Y S E S OF V A R I A N C E OF T E A C H E R T A L K 120 / 121 Table C l : Repeated Measures Analyses of Variance of Teacher Talk Whom Subscale Source Error Term Sum of Squares D.F. Mean Squares F Ratio F Prob. Mean C(T) 30.001 1 30.00i T C(T) 0.27502E-06 3 0.91675E-07 1.52 0.2483 M CM(T) 30.417 3 10.139 132.33 0.0000 C(T) E(TC) 0.96676E-06 16 0.60422E-07 1.42 0.1469 TM CM(T) 0.45430 9 0.50478E-01 0.66 0.7412 E(TC) 0.42500E-05 100 0.42500E-07 CM(T) ME(TC) 3.6778 48 0.76620E-01 1.77 0.0023 ME(TC) 12.972 300 0.43240E-01 What Subscale Mean C(T) 14.997 1 14.997 T C(T) 0.74997E-07 3 0.24999E-07 0.16 0.9244 D CD(T) 1.8385 1 1.8385 109.63 0.0000 C(T) E(TC) 0.25667E-05 16 0.16042E-06 1.57 0.0907 A(D) CA(TD) 2.7424 6 0.45707 19.65 0.0000 TD CD(T) 0.11633 3 0.38775E-01 2.31 0.1150 E(TC) 0.10208E-04 100 0.10208E-06 CD(T) DE(TC) 0.26834 16 0.16771E-01 2.67 0.0015 TA(D) CA(TD) 0.83303 18 0.46279E-01 1.99 0.0174 CA(TD) AE(TCD) 2.2334 96 0.23264E-01 3.27 0.0000 DE(TC) 0.62819 100 0.62819E-02 AE(TCD) 4.2669 600 0.71115E-02 / 122 Table C1 continued How Subscale Source Error Term Sum of Squares D.F. Mean Squares F Ratio F Prob. Mean CCD 59.998 1 59.998 T CCD 0.16661E-07 3 0.55538E-08 0.14 0.9344 H CH(T) 40.564 1 40.564 1540.43 0.0000 C(T) E(TC) 0.63330E-06 16 0.39581E-07 1.70 0.0593 TH CHCD 0.83141 3 0.27714 10.52 0.0005 E(TC) 0.23332E-05 100 0.23332E-07 CH(T) HE(TC) 0.42133 16 0.26333E-01 2.11 0.0133 HE(TC) 1.2487 100 0.12487E-01 APPENDIX D PROTOCOLS AND INSTRUMENTS 123 / 124 LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS FOR SPECIAL NEEDS PRESCHOOL CHILDREN Name of Program -Address of Program Date Agency Consent Form 1987 I hereby consent to participate in a doctoral thesis project on Learning Environments for Special Needs Preschoolers, as described in the accompanying letter. I understand that I may withdraw from the project at any time. I also understand that all data will be anonymous. I acknowledge receipt of a copy of the Consent Form. / 125 LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS FOR SPECIAL NEEDS PRESCHOOL CHILDREN Program Consent Form Name of Program :  Address of Program Date 1987 I hereby consent to participate in a doctoral thesis project on Learning Environments for Special Needs Preschoolers, as described in the accompanying letter. I understand that I may withdraw from the project at any time. I also understand that all data will be anonymous. I acknowledge receipt of a copy of the Consent Form. Signature of Director or Head Teacher / 126 LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS FOR SPECIAL NEEDS PRESCHOOL CHILDREN Parent Consent Form Family Name Name of Program Child Attends Date 1987 I hereby consent to participate in a doctoral thesis project on Learning Environments for Special Needs Preschoolers, as described in the accompanying letter. I understand that I may withdraw from the project at any time. Participation or non-participation will not affect my child's access to programs or services in any way. Data will be anonymous and will not be used to specifically evaluate my child's performance with reference to his or her school program. I acknowledge receipt of a copy of the consent form. (Signature) / 127 Dear Parent: I am conducting a study to better understand the experiences special needs children and their parents have in different types of preschool programs available in our community. This study is being pursued as a doctoral dissertation in the Faculty of Education at The University of British Columbia. The program your child attends has been selected among several in the greater Vancouver area which serve special needs preschoolers, and I invite you to participate. I will be observing in your child's program for three consecutive days, and would very much appreciate your permission to observe his/her play activities. Your child will not be asked any questions nor removed from his daily routine. I am also hereby requesting your participation in a brief interview concerning your involvement with the preschool program. The interview will be set up for 30-45 minutes at your convenience. Your, and your child's participation in this project is completely voluntary. Your participation is solicited since we are anxious to get as complete a picture as possible about the ongoing experiences children have in preschool programs. All of the results and information from this study will be kept strictly confidential; your name and the child's will remain anonymous. Participation or non-participation will not affect your child's access to programs or relationship to the class in any way. A summary report of the results of the study will be shared with you at your request. Please note that you may withdraw from the project at any time. However, if we are to gain further knowledge about environments for special needs preschoolers, your cooperation is very important at this time. Your assistance is therefore greatly appreciated. I will be contacting you within a week to answer any questions regarding the project, and to obtain your consent to particiapte. Thank you so much for your attention. Sincerely yours, Eliana Tobias. / 128 Dear Colleague: As you are well aware, there is much interest in the community to serve exceptional preschoolers in the most effective educational programs. In a past survey which I conducted, I was able to identify three types of programs which serve young special needs children in our community: segregated programs, in which all children are handicapped; reversed mainstreamed ones, where over 50% of the children are handicapped; and regular day care centers and nursery schools which accept a few special needs children into their program. I am presently conducting a study in order to better understand the experiences children and their parents have in these different types of environments available to them. This study is being pursued as a doctoral dissertation in the Faculty of Education at The University of British Columbia. Your program has been selected among several in the greater Vancouver area which serve exceptional preschoolers, and I invite you to participate. We all know how important early intervention is for special needs children. I am interested in understanding how the public policies set up by the B.C. government regarding provisions for the education of young special needs children affect the child and his/her family. Hopefully the results from the study will help us gain knowledge which in turn will be useful in the future in determining program placement for young children. I am hereby requesting that you allow two people (myself and a research assistant) into your program for a total of three consecutive days, in order that we may observe classroom materials, activities, children's play and interactions. We would encourage the teacher not to make any changes in the daily schedule and to please give us one hour of his/her time to respond to a simple interview regarding numbers of special needs children in the program, curriculum, teacher experience, support services available and the type and amount of parent involvement in the program. We will be using standardized observation instruments used in early childhood programs to collect our information. We would also ask you to help us identify a few parents of your special needs children in the program who would be interested in participating. They would be asked to respond to a brief interview (30-45 minutes long), concerning issues relating to how he/she found the program for his/her child, his/her involvement and satisfaction with their involvement in the preschool. Your participation in this project is completely voluntary. Your participation is solicited since . we are anxious to get as complete a picture as possible about the ongoing experiences children have in preschool programs. I am interested in obtaining an indepth understanding about the variety of programs available to children, the characteristics which they have in common, and those on which they vary. All of the results and information from the study will be kept strictly confidential; your name and students' names will remain anonymous. However, a summary report of the results will be shared with you at your request. Please note that you may withdraw from the project at any time. / 129 However, if we are to gain further knowledge about environments for special needs preschoolers and make appropriate placement decisions, your cooperation is very important at this time. Therefore, your assistance is greatly appreciated. I will be contacting you within a week to answer any questions regarding the project and to obtain your permission to observe in your program. Thank you so much for your attention. Sincerely yours, Eliana Tobias. / 130 Parent Interview and Rating Scale a) Single parent family b) Intact family Number of children and ages: Age of special needs child: How did you find the preschool program for your child? Are you satisfied with the program? Why? What are your expectations of the program for your child? For your family? Do you participate in decisions about your child's program? Has the program alleviated concerns you have about your child? Are you a working parent? Does your child's special needs affect your employment? What agencies provide you with services? (Inquire about agency involvement in the past). What do you think you need to help you cope better with your child? / 131 Parent Interview Preschool programs for special needs children provide a variety of opportunities to parents to participate in their programs. Here is a list of many activities, not all of which are offered in the programs. Have you heard of: Yes or No How important do you think they are? Not Slightly Moderately Very Important Important Important Important 1. Observing in class for a 30 minute period 0 1 2 3 2. Participating in classroom activities 0 1 2 3 3. Participating in developing program goals 0 1 2 3 4. Belonging to a parent organization 0 1 2 3 5. Attending parent training courses 0 1 2 3 6. Attending counselling sessions 0 1 2 3 7. Attending parent-teacher conferences 0 1 2 3 8. Making program supplies 0 1 2 3 9. Attending parent education events 0 1 2 3 10. Having the teacher in your home (home visits) 11. Attending parent parties 0 0 2 2 3 3 / 132 Yes or No How important do you think they are? Not Slightly Moderately Very Important Important Important Important 12. Being provided with worksheets, checklists or other educational suggestions to be carried out at home 13. Participating in putting out a newsletter 14. Belonging to a Parent Advisory Board 15. Having regular telephone exchanges with the teacher 16. Having informal contacts; contact at dropping child in and out 17. Having contact with other parents 18. Others (specify) 0 0 2 2 3 3 Which do you consider the top five most important activities parents should consider participating in? / 133 Teacher Interview and Rating Scale I. Background Information 1. Educational background: 2. a) Experience with special needs children b) How and when did you become interested in the field? 3. a) Total number of children served in the program b) Number of special needs children served c) Types of exceptionalities served 4. a) Ages of regular children served b) Ages of exceptional children 5. How long has the program accepted special needs children? H. Program Goals and Objectives 6. a) What are the goals of your preschool program? b) Do the objectives delineate specific behaviors, values, attitudes and physical modifications that need to be made for the special needs children? c) How does the program measure progress in the child's skills acquisition? / 134 III. Support Services 7. What support services do you receive from the Ministry of Health and Human Resources, to complement your work with special needs children in your program? Consultative Direct Visits per month Public Health Nurse Speech Therapy Social Worker Physical Therapist Occupational Therapist Volunteer(s) Other 8. a) Do you find that the services provided by the above individuals are beneficial to the children in the program? b) If you do not have the above services, would you like this type of support service? Which one? / 135 9. How would you rate the services you have? Very beneficial 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Of no benefit Public Health Nurse Speech Therapy Social Worker Physical Therapist Occupational Therapist V olunteer(s) Other 10. a) How would you describe the degree of commitment parents have in your program? b) Are you satisfied with the degree of involvement in the program? / 136 Teacher Interview Preschool programs for special needs children provide a variety of opportunities to parents to participate in their program. Have parents during this school year had the opportunity to: Yes or No How important do you think they are? Not Slightly Moderately Very Important Important Important Important 1. Observe in class for a 30 minute period 0 1 2 3 2. Participate in classroom activities 0 1 2 3 3. Participate in developing program goals 0 1 2 3 4. Belong to a parent organization 0 1 2 3 5. Attend parent training courses 0 1 2 3 6. Attend counselling sessions 0 1 2 3 7. Attend parent/teacher conferences 8. Make program supplies 0 0 2 2 3 3 9. Attend parent education events 10. Does teacher conduct home visits? 11. Attend parent parties? 0 0 2 2 3 3 / 137 Yes or No How important do you think they are? Not Slightly Moderately Very Important Important Important Important 12. Parents provided with worksheets, checklists or other educational suggestions to be carried out at home 13. Produce a newsletter 14. Have a Parent Advisory Board 15. Exchange regular telephone communication 16. Informal contacts; notes, contact at dropping child in and out 17. Parent-parent contact 18. Others (specify) 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 2 3 2 3 2 3 Which do you consider the top five most important activities parents should participate in? / 138 Time Sampling Observation Child: FREE P L A Y CLASSIFICATION SCALE • SOLITARY Functional Constructive | 1 1 1 i 1 1 1 1 1 I I 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 I I 1 1 I I 1 Dramatic I I 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 PARALLEL Functional Constructive | | | 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 Dramatic | | 1 I I 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 ASSOCIATIVE Functional Constructive | | | 1 1 1 1 D r a m a t i c 1 1 1 1 I I 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 I I 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 COOPERATIVE Functional Constructive | 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 I I 1 1 1 1 1 Dramatic | | 1 1 I I 1 1 1 I I 1 I I 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 I 1 I I I I I I I UNOCCUPIED ONLOOKER / 139 Teacher-Child Interaction Event Sampling Observation WHO TO WHOM WHAT HOW Initiates Responds Teacher Child 1 R/Com 1 S-Q Academic Two children 2 Q 2 Ack Small group 3 I-E 3 Praise Behavior Large group 4 C 4 C. Feed Teacher Child 1 R/Com 1 S-Q Academic Two children 2 Q 2 Ack Small group 3 I-E 3 Praise Behavior Large group 4 C 4 C. Feed Teacher Child 1 R/Com 1 S-Q Academic Two children 2 Q 2 Ack Small group 3 I-E 3 Praise Behavior Large group 4 C 4 C. Feed Teacher Child 1 R/Com 1 S-Q Academic Two children 2 Q 2 Ack Small group 3 I-E 3 Praise Behavior Large group 4 C 4 C. Feed Teacher Child 1 R/Com 1 S-Q Academic Two children 2 Q 2 Ack Small group 3 I-E 3 Praise Behavior Large group 4 C 4 C. Feed Teacher Child 1 R/Com 1 S-Q Academic Two children 2 Q 2 Ack Small group 3 I-E 3 Praise Behavior Large group 4 C 4 C. Feed Teacher Child 1 R/Com 1 S-Q Academic Two children 2 Q 2 Ack Small group 3 I-E 3 Praise Behavior Large group 4 C 4 C. Feed Teacher Child 1 R/Com 1 S-Q Academic Two children 2 Q 2 Ack Small group 3 I-E 3 Praise Behavior Large group 4 C 4 C. Feed 

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