Publications

Perceptions of Communication Practices Among Stakeholders in Special Education

Especially important to the successful education of children with disabilities are stakeholder (parents and educators) perceptions of home?school relationships across grade levels and diagnoses. However, research on these communication patterns often excludes the perspectives of multiple stakeholders and downplays differences across disabilities. The present study investigated perceived patterns of communication among special education stakeholders through 17 qualitative, semistructured interviews. Notable results indicate that educators at younger grades are more proactive with home contact; parents who have more frequent communication with schools tend to be more satisfied with schools, but their children may also have more common or noncomorbid disabilities; most stakeholders rely on elementary-level educators to identify students with exceptionalities; and administrators are still challenged by perceptions that general and special education are two separate systems. These results are framed by disability type and comorbidity, and substantively add to the conversation regarding how to improve home?school relationships regardless of disability.; Especially important to the successful education of children with disabilities are stakeholder (parents and educators) perceptions of home?school relationships across grade levels and diagnoses. However, research on these communication patterns often excludes the perspectives of multiple stakeholders and downplays differences across disabilities. The present study investigated perceived patterns of communication among special education stakeholders through 17 qualitative, semistructured interviews. Notable results indicate that educators at younger grades are more proactive with home contact; parents who have more frequent communication with schools tend to be more satisfied with schools, but their children may also have more common or noncomorbid disabilities; most stakeholders rely on elementary-level educators to identify students with exceptionalities; and administrators are still challenged by perceptions that general and special education are two separate systems. These results are framed by disability type and comorbidity, and substantively add to the conversation regarding how to improve home?school relationships regardless of disability.