Conversations with Families of Children with Disabilities
Insights for Teacher Understanding
Conversations with Families of Children with Disabilities creates a space for diverse families of children with disabilities to share their stories with pre-service and in-service teachers. Specifically designed for professionals preparing to work with families of children with disabilities, this text invites the reader to listen in as families reflect on their personal journeys in conversation with the authors. This powerful book helps educators develop a deeper understanding of families and enhance their capacity for authentic partnerships.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. A Mother and Grandmother Come Together as Caregivers 3. A Mother Learns to Advocate for a Preschooler with Complex Needs 4. A Family Reflects on the Challenges and Achievements in their Daily Lives 5. A Mother Reclaims her Strength and Confidence Negotiating the Complexities of Schooling for Her Child 6. Parents Collaborate to Support their Sons’ Health and Educational Achievement 7. A Family Reflects on their Achievements and Dreams 8. An Unexpected Reciprocity: Guest Speakers Learn by Sharing their Stories 9. Summary and Concluding Thoughts
Victoria I. Puig is Associate Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning and the Ben Samuels Children’s Center Faculty Liaison at Montclair State University, USA.
Susan L. Recchia is Professor Emeritus of Early Childhood and Special Education and former Faculty Director of the Rita Gold Early Childhood Center at Teachers College, Columbia University, USA.
‘This is an exceptionally well-researched book that rises powerfully above the ‘tragedy metaphor’ to demonstrate the strength, courage, and resilience of families of children with exceptional needs. Through carefully crafted interviews, the authors give freedom to the voices of family members who describe the ways in which they cherish their children and the frustrations they experience because of social and educational bias. Excellent questions at the end of each chapter encourage future educators to focus on the professional understanding and respect for families that is necessary for effective home-school relationships in special education."’
Beatrice S. Fennimore, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
‘Conversations with Families offers an extraordinary insight into the lives of real families of children with disabilities. It is so valuable for teachers, social workers, therapists and others who work with students with disabilities to remember that the child's first and most important teacher is the family and home. What happens there will shape the child's future. For those working with students with disabilities, who often live in the home much longer than do other students, keeping abreast of family issues can be critical for one's success. The authors' unique perspective interviewing families they knew well offers a rich narrative on this subject. Hearing the voice of those with disabilities themselves is also invaluable. I predict this will be a best seller supplemental text for any faculty member teaching about collaboration with families.’
Peggy A. Gallagher, Ph.D., Professor Emerita, Early Childhood Special Education, Georgia State University