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Special Education


Jeonage Kang

Mentor Department

Special Education


Parent involvement and communication decrease as students reach the junior high and high school levels. Many factors can change parental involvement during this time (Bhargava & Witherspoon, 2015). This study was conducted at a local junior high in central Illinois. The purpose of this study was to investigate the communication experience of parents of students during the Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) process and factors that impact parent communication. We used a mixed-method design with parent surveys and interviews. Statistical and thematic analyses were used to determine common themes in parent communication and experiences. Our quantitative findings from the survey indicated parents of students with autism were more likely to want more frequent contact with their child's case manager than families of students with other disabilities. In addition, families of students in the sixth grade wanted to hear from their child's case manager more frequently than families of seventh or eighth grade students. Our qualitative findings from the interview indicated families would like to receive more positive notes about their children. In addition, data shows that parents' relationships with current case managers was affected by the relationship with the past case managers. The overall findings of this study will guide professional development regarding parent communication and allow for reflection on adjustments that would enable parents to have a more positive experience.

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