Proceedings of The 3rd World Conference on Research in Teaching and Education
Toward Father/dad-friendly Early Intervention for Families of Children with Special Educational Needs: A Qualitative Study
Ke Ren, Conor Mc Guckin
While the participation of fathers/dads in the early intervention (EI) programme provided for families of children with special educational needs (SEN) has been proved to have a positive impact on the educational and experiential outcome of the child and the family, the level of fathers/dads involvement in EI continue to be low and the reasons for this are poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to explore fathers/dads’ experiences of, and preferences for EI programme, as well as their perceptions of the barriers that limit their participation in EI. The roles and perceptions of EI professionals and mothers/mums in supporting the involvement of fathers/dads were also explored. Qualitative in-depth interviews were conducted with a total of 15 fathers/dads, EI professionals, and mothers/mums in Ireland. Findings revealed a significant gap in knowledge, views, and practice among fathers/dads, EI professionals, and mothers/mums towards the issue of father/dad involvement in EI. In addition, several barriers and preferences for father/dad-friendly EI programme were identified by participants. Implications for future efforts in developing such tailored EI services for fathers/dads are discussed.
Keywords: Early Intervention; Father Involvement; Special Educational Needs; Barriers; Preferences.