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Oral Presentation III: "Early-Childhood Special Education (ECSE): how to make effects sustainable - Parental views on strengthening their parental competences through ECSE in general and during the Covid-19 Pandemic"
12:15pm - 12:30pm
Presenting Author: Raphaela Iffländer
Location: Auditorium Roux
Early-Childhood Special Education (ECSE): how to make effects sustainable - Parental views on strengthening their parental competences through ECSE in general and during the Covid-19 Pandemic
Raphaela Iffländer, Raphaela Quecke, Michael von Rhein, Oskar Jenni
Universitäts-Kinderspital Zürich, Switzerland
Background: Early-Childhood Special Education (ECSE) is a family centered intervention, which does not only focus on the child and its special needs, but also on the parents` competences and trust in their own parenting skills, which ECSE tries to strengthen.
Therefore, we wanted to investigate whether and how parents of children with special needs benefit from the support given by the ECSE professionals by answering the following research questions:
1.) Did the parents benefit from ECSE regarding their parental competences?
2.) In which domains (e.g., promotion of the child, links to institutions / services, participation in society) was the effect most notable?
Methods: We used a sequential Mixed-Methods-Design to answer these questions. A quantitative survey was conducted in spring 2019, which included all families that had terminated ECSE one year before in the canton of Zurich (n= 475, participation rate: n= 143; 30%). Subsequently, 22 families were selected for an additional qualitative interview, to gain deeper insights in the family’s specific situation and experiences. Additionally, a smaller interview study with 8 families was conducted in 2022, to assess possible impacts of the pandemic.
Results: Our study showed, that 80% of the parents were very satisfied with the ECSE intervention in general. However, helpfulness on the level of parental competences (especially in knowing rights and advocating for the child) was rated significantly lower. During the shutdown caused by the pandemic, most of the parents felt very supported by the ECSE professionals. Nevertheless, parents reported that they were concerned about their child's development due to the discontinuation of ECSE.
Conclusion: Results thus increase knowledge about the parents’ specific experiences and needs and therefore help to develop approaches to improve the parent focused work of ECSE professionals.