Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Jianping Shen


The purpose of this study is to examine parent and early intervention professional perceptions and experiences of the legislative requirement of the parent participation and education component of Early Childhood Special Education. The study focuses on examination of reports of parent and early intervention professional experiences and analysis of child outcome data of children receiving intervention among three different service delivery models of Early Childhood Special Education. Data are collected from 24 parent and early intervention professionals, each experiencing one of three service delivery models, and record review of developmental outcomes for language, social, and motor skills for 120 children enrolled in early childhood special education programs and services. The study uses a mixed methods approach, whereby qualitative methods are used to examine perceptions and identification of components of parent participation and education for special education preschoolers. Quantitative measures are used to determine which service delivery model(s) are predictive of positive child and family outcomes. Findings reveal that five common themes emerge from participant reported experiences that are ascribed to positive family and child outcomes: parent-teacher relationships, home visits, parent to parent support, parent training, and inclusion of family members in the intervention plan. Examination of the impact of service delivery model on child outcomes using ANOVAs and post hoc comparisons reveals statistically significant positive social skill outcomes for children receiving services or service combined with programs. Implications for informing practice within Early Childhood Special Education are discussed.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access