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Title:An Examination of an Early Childhood Special Education Program: The Followup Status of Program Participants and an Analysis of Program Components
Author(s):Reid, Barbara Jean
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Special
Abstract:This study was an attempt to evaluate the effectiveness of a public school early childhood special education program. The purpose was twofold: (a) to conduct a longitudinal follow-up evaluation of children who had participated in the program between 1977 and 1983; and (b) to analyze the current operational status of the program according to eleven components identified in the literature as essential for an early intervention program to be effective.
In the follow-up section, the academic, social and adaptive behavior skills of 102 subjects were examined through data collected from cumulative school records and teacher questionnaires. The program analysis component involved interviews with program personnel to determine the current status of the eleven essential components in this early intervention program.
Among the principal findings of the follow-up analysis were the following: (a) 80% (n = 82) of the subjects were placed in mainstreamed settings from kindergarten through fifth grade; (b) 68% (n = 55) of the subjects placed in regular education received some kind of specialized support service after leaving early intervention; (c) 37% of the subjects had been retained, of these 78% were retained in kindergarten or the first grade; (d) teachers rated the subjects overall as average to below average in comparison with peers in all areas, except general health; and (e) The Peabody Picture Vocabulary Scores of 39 subjects, analyzed using the Proportional Change Index (Wolery, 1983), revealed that these children as a group made more progress in receptive language than predicted. The analysis of the program's components indicated that all 11 essential components needed to be either strengthened or established.
The results were compared to those from the Joint Early Education Program for the Handicapped (JEEPH) as described by Karnes, Schwedel, Lewis, Ratts, and Esry (1981). The Karnes et al. follow-up subjects were found to be more successful. It appears that a program incorporating more of these components has more long-term impact.
It was concluded that future evaluations of public school early childhood special education programs should focus on: (a) identifying and reinforcing those components perceived as weak, (b) using innovative methods to analyze useable, existing data, and (c) focus the primary efforts toward developing an evaluation component for the collection of future efficacy information.
Issue Date:1987
Description:294 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1987.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8803172
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-15
Date Deposited:1987

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