Exploring Perspectives on Child Care With Families of Children With Autism

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Early childhood programs serve increasing numbers of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their families. While many programs have made significant progress in providing educational services responsive to the needs of children with ASD, concerns persist about whether early education programs can meet the educational needs of such children and collaborate effectively with their families. The authors explored self reported experiences and concerns of families who have children diagnosed with ASD and their experiences with preschool educational services in a northern county of a southeastern state. In focus groups, participants discussed program/family relationships, their priorities for their children, and how these needs and priorities were addressed, or not addressed, in the programs serving their children. Findings indicate that families were concerned with their children's access to the educational environment, the availability of emotional and social development support for children with ASD, and the overall reflection of inclusion as a program philosophy in the program settings.

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Early Childhood Research & Practice


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign