AboutThis course focuses on strategies for developing family-appropriate and culturally appropriate family-professional partnerships to benefit children with special needs. Included is an overview of the role of the family and community in the physical, cognitive, social, and emotional growth of the child in a diverse society. Strategies for developing positive, reciprocal relationships with families in an early childhood setting are provided. Theories and research that support family-centered practices are explored. The course also provides a focus on family and professional rights and responsibilities in the special education process. This course takes a family-centered perspective and emphasizes the role of collaborative planning with families and caregivers in preparing developmentally supportive environments. Students will become familiar with the cultural context of the families with whom they are working and learn how their own socio-cultural context influences their work with families of children with disabilities. The course also reviews the impact of exceptionality on the family in the framework of family systems theory, functions, and the life cycle of the family. The course encourages students to examine their values and beliefs about working with families, to challenge their assumptions, and to analyze their professional roles in working with families.
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