Date of Graduation

8-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Environmental Science (MS)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

General Human Environmental Sciences

Advisor

Jacquelyn Mosley

Committee Member

George W. Wardlow

Second Committee Member

Timothy S. Killian

Keywords

Behavior, Early Education, Early Intervention, Inclusive Preschool, Special Education, Specialized Staff

Abstract

This study aims to identify differences in the later integration of children with mild to moderate special needs based on their exposure to specialized staff regardless of the type of preschool they attended. This is done by observing the behaviors exhibited by those students with special needs and the proportion of the student’s day in a traditional classroom. One of the most noted issues with students who have special needs is their lack of appropriate early intervention with specifically-trained staff. This may attribute to those students delay in social emotional skills, and cognitive skills. Transitions, specifically those from one classroom setting to another, can be difficult for those students with special needs. The schools that were examined in this study were specialized preschools which have a fully trained specialized staff, and inclusive preschools which are more designed for those students that are typically developing. Parents/guardians of students with special needs may enroll their children with special needs into a preschool that is specifically created with specialized staff, which are termed specialized preschools. Parents/guardians can also enroll their child into a traditional preschool. Within this traditional preschool setting, the student with special needs will receive early intervention services allowing students with special needs to be educated alongside their typically developing peers. This is an example of an inclusive preschool. The current study used a modified version of the Classroom Behavior Continuum Scale (CBCS) that utilized secondary data from the student’s teachers. Overall, the study found that there were no significant differences between the amount of exposure each student with special needs had with specialized staff and their observable behavior. It was also found that due to lack of information, we were unable to conclude any significance with the type preschool attended and its effect on the behaviors of student with special needs.