By: David L. Lovett and Kathryn A. Haring
This article explores three broad themes about transitions that have emerged in a naturalistic study of experiences of families with young children with disabilities. Generalizations regarding early transitions include families going through a birth crisis have difficulty understanding all the information they are provided. Not only is their role unclear (“Should I stay with the mother or follow the baby?”), familiarity with medical technology is typically limited. In a crisis state the mind may take in nothing more once it accepts the concept of an extremely critical or life threatening condition. In addition, mothers who have had emergency Cesarean sections are struggling through pain medication and their own trauma. Secondly, parents may not feel comfortable assessing their abilities to care for their children as they transition from the hospital to home. Finally, the transition from home-based early intervention to center-based preschool can cause anxiety for parents. An IEP meeting may be the first introduction into the world of special education. Formality of public schooling involves new learning such as definitions, categories, and placement decisions.