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Chapter 4 Family Life Cycle. Sharing Their Story. Xenia Powell had Lanz while attending university. She says he is her constant. Lanz has made a huge difference in terms of her teaching.
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Chapter 4 Family Life Cycle
Sharing Their Story • Xenia Powell had Lanz while attending university. She says he is her constant. • Lanz has made a huge difference in terms of her teaching. • She believes Lanz is a gift from God. She also believes that teaching special education is her assignment in life. • God gave her Lanz and the equipment to raise him and to teach at-risk and special education kids. • She will persevere with them as she did with Lanz.
Think About It • If you had to identify Xenia’s life cycle, what stages would you identify? • What life stages has Lanz experienced? • What stages lie ahead for him? • If you were a teacher trying to partner with a mother like Xenia, what would you learn from knowing her life cycle and her characterizations of each cycle?
Family Life Cycle Theory • The family life cycle explains how a family changes over time. • Each family experiences certain predictable stages . • Movement from one stage to another there is an interim phase known as “transition”.
Family Life Cycle Theory • Leaving home as single young adult • Marriage and the new couple • Families with young children • Families with adolescents • Launching children • Families in later life
Life Cycle Stages • Birth and Early Childhood • Childhood • Adolescence • Adulthood
Birth and Early Childhood • Discovering and coming to terms with disability: • Many families experience a “grief cycle” upon learning their child has a disability. • The manner in which a professional shares news or information about the child’s disability can cause hope or despair. • Professional affirmation of parents’ dreams and hopes can serve as a protective factor in the adjustment process.
Birth and Early Childhood • Participation in early childhood services • Children birth to 3 are served through Part C of IDEA. • Part C services are family-centered and are provided in a child’s natural environment (e.g., child’s home, community-based settings). • Services for children 3 and older are provided through IDEA: Part B services are focused on the individual with a disability and are typically provided in public education settings.
Birth and Early Childhood • Fostering Self-determination In Young Children • Self- determination means among other things living one’s life consistent with one’s values, preferences, strengths and needs. • Four Characteristics of Self-determination • Autonomy • Self-regulation • Psychological empowerment • Self-realization
Childhood • Developing a vision for the future: • IDEA promotes that the student with a disability must be educated with students who do not have disabilities to the maximum extent appropriate for the student. • Inclusion occurs most often for students ages 6-11; as students grow older, the percentage of time spent in inclusive placements decreases.
Childhood • Key Characteristics of Inclusion: • All students receive education in the home school they would have attended if they had no disability; • Consideration is given to placing students in classrooms according to the principle of natural proportions; • Teaching and learning is restructured for all students so that special education supports exist within general education classrooms; and • School and general education placements are age- and grade-appropriate.
Childhood • As children with disabilities enter grade school, many parents weigh the benefits and drawbacks of inclusion for their child. • Many parents report being placed in the position of needing to convince educators that inclusion is appropriate for their child. • Similarly, many parents report that inclusive education programs could be more effective and efficient in meeting their child’s needs and goals.
Adolescence • Stressors associated with adolescence can impact the functioning of the entire family. • The presence of a disability may either mitigate or compound typical adolescent issues. • The values and expectations of adolescents are strongly rooted in, and influenced by, a family’s ethnic/racial background and their religious affiliations.
Adolescence • The need for sexuality education: • Currently, approximately 5% of students receive sexuality education. • Benefits associated with sexuality education: • Preparation of students to live and thrive in a diverse society. • Reduction in the likelihood that persons with disabilities will be sexually victimized (particularly women). • Promotion of sexually appropriate behavior.
Adolescence • Expanding self-determination skills: • Self-determination: Living one’s life consistent with one’s values, preferences, strengths, and needs. • Self-determination is defined by one’s cultural norms, including collectivism and individualism. • The Self-determined Learning Model of Instruction (SDLM) has shown encouraging results. • Parents can be involved in promoting self-determination for their child.
Adolescence • Self-determination is promoted through: • Building on student’s interest and chosen direction. • Expressing choices and acting on their preferences. • The creation of self-determination goals and incorporation of these goals into a student’s IEP.
Adolescence • Self-Determination Outcomes: • Increased post-high school outcomes, including paid employment. • Self-determination predicts active student involvement in educational planning and decision-making.
Adulthood • Dimension of Adulthood • Autonomy • Emphasizes the individual’s arrival into adulthood • Membership • Includes community and connectedness and affiliation • Change • Acknowledges each individual’s capacity for ongoing growth
Adulthood • The move to adulthood presents difficulties for the individual with the disability and the family. Numerous challenges with the transition to adulthood, which may include: • Identifying postsecondary educational programs and supports • Assessing supporting employment
Adulthood • Identifying post-secondary educational programs and supports: • Approximately 1/3 of high school graduates attend post-secondary programs. • Students with disabilities are at increased risk of dropping out of high school and post-secondary education programs. • Increasingly, post-secondary programs are developing support services and programs to support students with learning and developmental disabilities.
Adulthood • Accessing supported employment: • Employment is the area where individuals with disabilities experience the widest gap with their non-disabled peers. • Approximately 37% of working-age persons with disabilities are employed full or part-time compared to 80% of working-age people without disabilities. • Supported employment is growing as more individuals with disabilities are in need of this option and are choosing it.
Adulthood • Supported Employment: • Developed as a way to provide long-term support for individuals with severe disabilities in integrated work settings. • Goal: To develop independent work skills and the ability to earn competitive wages in an inclusive job market. • Persons typically have the assistance of a job coach who provides direct training and assistance.
Life Cycle Transitions • Transitions occur from one life cycle stage to the next. • Transition times often are the most challenging periods for families due to significant change and stress. • For families who have a child with a disability, life cycle changes may be more stressful.
Life Cycle Transitions • Uncertainty about the future: • Families may not know other families that have experienced similar transitions . • They may follow the admonition to take one day at a time. • Rituals that serve as “punctuation marks” for transitions for youth without disabilities may be blurred or non-existent for youth with disabilities.
Life Cycle Transitions • Uncertainty about the future: • In the past, and often still today, schools have not emphasized futures planning. • Students from culturally and linguistically diverse families and those in underserved areas encounter special challengers in transition • To promote futures planning, IDEA requires a coordinated set of transition services to be offered for students progressing to adulthood.
Life Cycle Transitions • Unexpected Transitions: • Family life cycle transitions that occur at a time other than expected affecting: • Moving out of one’s family home • Premature death of a child • Some cultures do not view delayed independent living arrangements as “off-time transition”.
Revisiting Lanz and Xenia Powell • Xenia knows about life cycles changes and transition points for herself and now with Lanz. • She is expecting on-time transitions as Lanz completes college, gains employment, changes jobs and becomes a middle age man. She expects to accompany him through these stages. • She will enter older adulthood and retire. • None of this is a given. Xenia knows that with a child with a disability, families make no assumptions about the future. This is a rule that she and the professionals that work with her follow. Just have high expectations.
Summary Life Cycle Stages • Birth and Early Childhood • Childhood • Adolescence • Adulthood
Linking Content To Your Life • Everyone experiences life cycle stages and transitions. Reflect on the stages and transitions you have experienced. • Use the reflective questions and activities shown in this section of the chapter located on page 92 to frame your reflections.