Adaptation and Accommodation to Young Children with Disabilities: A Comparison of Korean and Korean American Parents

Adaptation and Accommodation to Young Children with Disabilities: A Comparison of Korean and Korean American Parents – Statistical Data Included

Su-Je Cho

During the past decade, immigration from Asian nations to the United States has reached an historically unprecedented level. Data indicate that Korea has been one of the top ten sources of immigration during the past two decades, and a large number of these Korean immigrants have settled in California (U.S. Census Bureau, 1999).

Among the children of these newcomers, childhood disability is likely to be at least as prevalent as it is among the native-born population. In areas where Korean immigrants have settled in large numbers, social service systems, including early intervention and special education programs, must accommodate this culturally and linguistically distinctive group. To date, we have not been able to locate any empirical studies about Korean parents of young children with disabilities. Thus, little guidance is available in the literature for practitioners, with the exception of some excellent general recommendations about cross-cultural practice (Harry, Kalyanpur, & Day, 1999; Kalyanpur & Harry, 1999; Lynch & Hanson, 1998; Valdes, 1996). Special educators, early interventionists, and other service providers from the European American middle class may frequently be faced with dramatically different attitudes and beliefs about child rearing, disability, and the role of educational programs (Kalyanpur & Harry, 1999; Lynch & Hanson, 1998). It behooves professionals in these fields to not only understand the beliefs and practices of families from different cultures, but to also understand the affect of immigration and the process of acculturation. In the growing literature on culture and disability in the United States, little has been written about the immigrant experience and about the ways that conditions in the new country affect families. One rare but promising method for studying the affect of immigration and its relationship to disability issues involves cross national/cross cultural studies in which a comparison is made between people who immigrate and similar people who do not (i.e., compared on one or more dimensions of their lives that are of concern). Such comparisons can cast a new light and thereby reveal previously unknown dimensions or provide further illumination of known variables (e.g., Marsella, 1987). This study compares native-Korean parents with Korean American parents and explores the affect of immigration status and national context difference on adaptation to childhood disability.

A few studies have described the ways Asian families respond to the challenges associated with raising their exceptional children (Chan, 1986; Fatimilehin & Nadirshaw, 1994; Green, 1982; Ryan & Smith, 1989). These findings have suggested that some groups of Asian immigrants experienced a moderate level of emotional stress and difficulty accessing social services due to language barriers (Ryan & Smith, 1989). In regard to the causes of their children’s disabilities, parents were likely to attribute them to uncontrollable factors (e.g., fate; Chan, 1986; Green, 1982). By contrast, in a recent study by Raghavan, Weisner, and Patel (1999), South Asian immigrant parents did not rely on traditional beliefs to explain disabilities. There are, of course, immense cultural differences between the many different religious, linguistic, and national groups represented in the Asian immigrant population. Given the complexity of family adaptation and family support for people with disabilities and the great diversity within the Asian immigrant population, researchers have only scratched the surface.

The study of recent immigrants provides an excellent opportunity to better understand how public attitudes and the presence or absence of social services affect family life. Both between-group and intra-individual comparisons are possible. Immigrants can be compared to a similar group that did not immigrate. Cross national comparisons allow for between-group comparisons that may help to explain the ways in which national contexts affect parental experiences in raising children with disabilities. Immigrants can also compare their experiences in the country of origin with those in the United States. For example, in a study of 10 South Asian immigrant parents, Raghavan, Weisner, and Patel (1999) found that parents appraised school and other services by comparing them with the services they may have received if the family had not immigrated. These comparisons were usually very positive. At the same time, they lamented the loss of support from extended family members had they stayed in their nations of origin. Both within- and between-group comparisons help shed light on the process of adaptation and acculturation that each parent experiences and the relationship of these processes to a child’s disability. In the present study, we compared two groups of families: a group of Korean American parents residing in the greater Los Angeles area with a group of Korean parents in Pusan, Korea. Both groups of parents had young children with developmental disabilities.

Several theoretical assumptions guided this research. First, we believed that disability was, in part, socially constructed. Therefore, we tried to elicit parents’ understandings of their children and their conditions without imposing our ideas. Second, we assumed that in the early years after the birth and diagnosis of a child with a disability, parents are likely to undergo a process of adaptation that has both cognitive and emotional elements and often resolves into positive views and feelings (Behr & Murphy, 1993; Summers, Behr, & Turnbull, 1989; Taylor, 1983). Third, although not a part of Taylor’s theory, we believe the process of cognitive adaptation takes place in a complicated ecology of interindividual resources, family resources, cultural values, and societal response to disability, including public attitudes and social services (Singer & Irvin, 1991). Fourth, we were influenced by the tradition of research on stress, coping, and adaptation to disability (e.g., Bristol, 1987; Singer & Irvin, 1991). Finally, we were influenced by the idea that parents and families engaged in an ongoing, energetic, and creative process of making practical accommodations to family routines in order to balance the needs of all family members within culturally defined parameters (Gallimore, Weisner, Kaufman, & Bernheiner, 1989). This process is conservative in that families aim to preserve core cultural values and living routines. Five major research questions were addressed in this study:

1. How do Korean and Korean American parents understand their children’s disabilities and their causes?

2. What kinds of demands, stresses, and strains do families encounter in the two contexts?

3. What kind of social supports are available to parents within the two nations, and what impact do they have on adaptation?

4. What kinds of benefits and contributions from their exceptional children do parents perceive, and what influences these perceptions?

5. What does the process of encounter and adaptation to their children’s disabilities look like in each social context?


Research Sites

This study was conducted in Pusan, Korea, and Los Angeles, California. Pusan is the second largest city in Korea, with a population of 4.5 million. There were seven segregated public schools serving children with disabilities from kindergarten to Grade 12 (Pusan Educational Office, 1996). Reportedly, a few general education schools served children with disabilities in self-contained classrooms. Public early intervention or special pre-school programs were not yet provided in Korea during the course of the study, although a number of private preschool programs were established for children with disabilities. The Korean parents, for the most part, lived in apartment complexes populated by middle-class Koreans in a highly concentrated urban setting. The Korean American parents resided in the greater Los Angeles area, which has a population of more than 9 million (U.S. Census Bureau, 1999). The participants were widely distributed geographically and were middle class. Early intervention, public special education, and family support services were available to these families.


Sixteen Korean participants were recruited from two private preschool programs and one kindergarten class at a school in Korea that served children with disabilities. Sixteen Korean American families were recruited from three parent support groups for Korean families of children with disabilities. Initially 19 Korean and 18 Korean American families were contacted. Two Korean and 2 Korean American families subsequently declined to participate the study. Data from 1 Korean parent were not included in the final analysis because the mother appeared to have a mental illness, and her responses to questions were extremely difficult to understand. Thus, the final groups included 2 Korean fathers and 16 Korean mothers and 3 Korean American fathers and 16 Korean American mothers. Mothers were the principal informants for their families, although fathers also provided their perspectives and opinions. This article focuses exclusively on the experiences of the 32 mothers.


The demographic information for parent participants appears in Table 1. All parents were married. The median income of the two groups was roughly comparable. The primary home language of all families in both groups was Korean.

TABLE 1. Demographic Characteristics of Korean and Korean American Mothers

Variable Korean(a) Korean American(a)

SES(b) below median All around or

above median

Employment 0% 56%

(full- or


Age (M) 34.3 (SD = 2.6) 35.9 (SD = 6.0)

Education 12.3 (SD = 3.0) 14.8 (SD = 1.6)




Protestant 44% 94%

Catholic 13% 6%

Buddhist 13% 0%

Not religious 30% 0%

U.S. residency

Less than

5 years 25%

5-9 years 50%

More than

10 years 25%



Low 50%

Moderate 44%

Fluent 6%

(a) n = 16. (b) SES is based on median incomes that were $21,000 for Korea (Korean Consumer Price Indexes, 1996) and $23,000 for the United States (Statistical Abstract of the United States, 1996). (c) English proficiency was based on parents’ self-evaluation.

Table 2 presents information about the children with disabilities, which came from three sources: (a) Individualized Education Program (IEP) and Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) obtained from the Korean American families and Developmental Checklists obtained from the Korean families, (b) the demographic information form, and (c) the first author’s direct observations of each child in the family home. Estimates of the severity of children’s disabilities were based on a composite of information from these sources. Although several variables were considered in determining our classification of the severity of children’s disabilities, expressive language skills and basic self-help skills were weighed as the most important indicators. Children were rated as having severe disabilities if they had little or no functional communication skills and they were learning basic self-help skills. Children were rated with moderate levels of disabilities if they had expressive communication skills including basic pragmatic functions and needed less assistance with basic self-help skills but still required prompting. Children rated as having mild disabilities had verbal or symbolic expressive communication skills and were independent or needed only verbal prompts for basic self-help skills.

TABLE 2. Age, Gender, Disability Type, and Severity of Children’s Disabilities

Variable Korean(a) Korean American(a)

Age (M) 5.3 (SD = 0.9) 5.5 (SD = 1.6)

Male 56% 56%


Autism 44% 50%

Down syndrome 19% 19%

Unknown cause 31% 19%

Multiple 6% 12%

Severity of disability(b)

Mild 38% 19%

Moderate 19% 50%

Severe 43% 31%

(a) n = 16. (b) Categories are based on developmental assessments in Korea and IEP and IFSP goals in the United States. The categories do not refer to levels of mental retardation.

Receptive language skills for the majority of children were rated at or near typical developmental levels for their ages. One third of the children in both groups had verbal language skills, of whom six had moderate delays in communication while five functioned at minimal levels that were delayed compared to typically developing peers. For example, a four-year-old girl with a moderate level of verbal communication skills could appropriately use one-word or two-word phrases such as “daddy,” “thank you,” or “give me.” Children with a minimal level of spoken language could speak one simple word (e.g., “hi”) when requested. These children apparently lacked spontaneous verbal communication skills. The other two thirds communicated with gestures and other prelinguistic behaviors. The first author, during the interviews, observed that when these children wanted food, some pulled their mothers to the refrigerator and pointed out what they wanted. Others responded only when their mothers showed them several different kinds of food while asking questions. Many parents provided their children with what, they assumed, their children might need in the given contexts. Approximately two thirds of the children were reported as exhibiting moderate to severe behavioral problems at home and in school, and five were described as having difficulties in acquiring basic living skills, such as toilet training and independent feeding. Specific diagnostic categories found in the children’s records appear in Table 2.


Demographic Information Form. The demographic information form was developed to gather basic descriptive information about families. The form included information on marital status, parental education and employment, family yearly income, religion, number of children, number of people living in the home, type and severity of disability, and age of the target child.

Interview Protocol. We developed three interview protocols. The first interview protocol was designed to explore parents’ experiences and concepts with minimal inference provided by focus of the questions. It included 18 open-ended questions, such as “How would you describe your initial response after learning about your child’s disability?” or “How would you describe the circumstances when your child was born?” The interview protocol for the second interviews was designed based on family stress theory (Singer & Irvin, 1991), ecocultural theory (Gallimore et al., 1989), cognitive adaptation theory, and the major theme and patterns that emerged in the first interviews. The protocol was comprised of approximately 100 questions on five topics: (a) general history of the child and family (e.g., Is there any disability-related history on the father’s side of the family?); (b) stressful events and family responses to the events (e.g., When you were aware of the disability, how did you feel?); (c) family and community resources, such as family child care, medical and educational professionals, and translators (e.g., Who do you call on when you are in need of help?); (d) family coping and adaptation (e.g., What helped you to feel better about your child after the initial reaction of learning that he or she had a disability?); and (e) social and cultural contexts (e.g., When you are in public with your child, how do strangers react to you and your child?). The third interview protocol was designed to clarify the researchers’ interpretations and conduct “member checking” with the participants. It consisted of 10 specific questions drawn from the major themes that we culled from the previous interviews (e.g., It appears that religion helped parents better accept their children with disabilities. Does religion help you? In what ways?).


During 1996 and 1997, the first author interviewed 16 Korean and 16 Korean American families on two different occasions and 5 Korean American parents for a third time. The first interviews used an open-ended style that allowed family members to describe their experiences and perceptions of their children with disabilities in their own terms and frameworks. The interviews were conducted in the home of each participant and lasted an average of 2 hours each. The second interviews were used to follow up on the first with specific probes to ensure that specific theory-based issues were covered. As in the first ones, the second interviews were conducted in the home of each family. The duration of the second interviews ranged from 4 to 6 hours. The longer visits involved spending time with the family in order to learn more about family routines and family members’ relationships (e.g., family cohesiveness, the marital relationship, the child’s adaptive behavior and communicative functioning). In addition, all families, during the second interviews, were requested to fill out a demographic information form and to provide a copy of their child’s IEP, IFSP, or Developmental Checklist. Between the second and the third interviews, the first author made a number of telephone contacts with many of the study participants in both groups when their responses were unclear and clarification was needed. The final interviews took place over the telephone with 5 randomly selected parents from the Korean American subject pool (Patton, 1990). All participants were not included in the final interviews because limited time and resources did not allow for debriefing interviews with all participants, and the interviews served as one way to validate the obtained data, rather than collecting additional information. The member-checking interviews were conducted 2 months after completing the second interviews and after completing two thirds of data analyses. In member-checking procedures, the first author asked the parents the 10 questions in the protocol. Parents were asked whether all major themes were descriptive of their own experiences and those of others they knew. The interviews lasted an average of 1 hour each. All interviews were conducted in Korean at the participants’ request. The first author, a native Korean speaker, transcribed the interviews verbatim and partially translated them into English.


The first author read through the transcripts of the first interviews to identify themes and patterns. The identified themes and patterns were, in part, used to design the interview protocol for the second set of interviews. This iterative process of developing the interview protocol is a feature of grounded theory (Strauss & Corbin, 1997) and commonly used in qualitative research. It allows for researchers to refine and reorganize their questions as their understanding of the phenomena increases. Next, the first author combined the transcripts of the first interviews with those of the second interviews. In analyzing the transcripts of the two interviews, the first author used a content analysis technique that included identifying, coding, categorizing, and quantifying the data (Patton, 1990). Each unit of meaning from the Korean transcripts was coded, and the second author read translations of selected examples of texts that were representative of each coding category. Through a process of discussion and analysis, both authors then collapsed data categories into larger themes that emerged from several readings of the transcripts. This process was documented in a log, leaving a paper trail of the analytic process. Although the authors were influenced by theories from the research literature, as described above, an effort was made to develop codes in response to what was found in the interviews rather than by imposing constructs. In developing initial codes and in collapsing them into themes, there were disagreements in both labeling and interpretation. Disagreements were handled through a discussion process in which the first two authors each explained their understanding of a code or theme and listened to the other. Mutual questioning and ongoing referencing of the transcripts were important aspects of this process. When disagreements about codes or themes arose, the authors discussed the difference until a consensus was achieved. Through this process, unexpected topics and themes emerged. At the same time, the authors did find themes that appeared to fit with constructs from the literature.

Multiple data validation methods were used to ensure that the data were credible. They included member-checking techniques, an uninvolved person’s debriefing, and an audit trail. The responses from the member-checking interviews were analyzed in a dichotomous category, “yes” or “no.” The agreement between the analyses of the final interviews and those of the two-member check interviews was 98%. For an uninvolved person’s debriefing, the first author contacted a parent advocate who had been a member of a parent support group for Koreans for the last several years. She did not participate in this study, nor did she know the nature of the study until the debriefing was performed. Debriefing was conducted with the same 10 questions in the final interview protocol, and no disagreement occurred in any of the questions. Finally, the second author reviewed an audit trail consisting of the study protocol, interview protocols, initial coding and agreement between two codes, themes with supportive quotes, and notes from the member checks.


Reactions to Diagnosis of Disability

Without exception, all parents reported that the news that their children had disabilities precipitated an initial crisis. Several mothers described feelings of shame, self-blame, sorrow, denial, and anger. For example, a Korean American mother stated, “I was furious and ashamed to have an autistic child.” A Korean mother reported, “I was hopeless and lost the meaning of my life when I learned that my daughter has autism.” Many of the mothers described how they cried on and off during the first several months following the initial diagnosis. The duration of the initial crisis for parents could not be calculated because parents could not recall the precise time when the crisis was resolved. Approximately 35% (13% Korean and 22% Korean American) of the mothers said they were distressed for the first several months, and 46% (24% Korean and 22% Korean American) noted that the period of distress lasted approximately 1 year. The remaining mothers (13% Korean and 6% Korean American) reported that they underwent a high level of negative emotion for nearly 2 years.

We noticed cultural differences in responses to questions about initial emotional and cognitive reactions. Across both groups, 44% of the mothers reported that at one time, they planned to commit suicide with their exceptional child or all members of their nuclear family in response to the problems posed by having a child with a disability. Some families actually gathered materials needed to kill themselves and then chose otherwise. As it emerged, individual or family suicide was one way to protect extended family members from shame, to escape difficulties associated with caregiving responsibilities (e.g., financial hardship), and for individuals to escape from shame.

Although the participants experienced an intense level of emotional crisis, they were able to resolve these feelings and arrive at positive and loving views of their children. This resolution, however, was complicated and involved ambivalent feelings and a return of initial negative thoughts and feelings. The majority of participants reported having recently experienced ambivalent emotions. Sixty-three percent of the Korean and 83% of the Korean American mothers reported periodic reoccurrence of their initial negative reactions during times of stress. For many parents, these reactions were triggered when their children displayed severe challenging behaviors. Some parents reported experiencing a sense of despair and hopelessness when they encountered difficulties in obtaining services. Overall, parents reported a general movement from negative thoughts and feelings to positive cognitive and emotional states. However, the process was complex, including mixed positive and negative emotions during the same time period and return of earlier emotional and cognitive reactions. Cognitive adaptation was not a linear, unidirectional process.

Interpretation of Causes of Disability

Attributions about the causes of children’s disabilities were affected by the different social and cultural contexts. Nearly one third of the participants, a large part of whom were Korean (80%), attributed causes of disability to their own behavior, such as poorly provided Tae Gyo or mistakes in early parenting. The term Tae Gyo, as it emerged in the interviews, meant prenatal practices and attitudes that parents believed important to the health and intelligence of their babies. A large percentage of the Korean American parents (63%) were devoted Christians and attributed the causes to a divine plan that would ultimately benefit the child and family. Some arrived at this view after feeling that they caused the disability through inadequate Tae Gyo or mistakes in early parenting. A Korean mother reported,

I believe that my psychological instability during pregnancy caused the

disability. A pregnant woman is supposed to be well at ease and practice a

good Tae Gyo…. I worried a lot for nothing. Sometimes I worried that I

may have a child with a physical disability, although my first child is

perfectly normal.

A Korean American mother who believed her poor parenting caused the disability of her son stated,

My husband and I believed that Phillip acquired autism when he was left

home a lot with his grandmother…. I think that he watched TV a lot when

he was left with his grandmother and that he lacked receiving social and

educational stimuli, which may have caused his disability. For about a year

after the diagnosis, we had still believed that his disability would

disappear, depending on our efforts.

In Korea, a child’s age is calculated from the time of conception rather than time of birth so that when the baby is born, he or she is said to be already 1 year old. This first year spent in the womb is considered an important time in the child’s education. The cultural emphasis on proper enrichment activities during pregnancy set the stage for self-blame when infants were later found to have disabilities. Other types of causal interpretations, such as misfortune or punishment for parental sins, were reported by a few Korean mothers.

After a period of cognitive adaptation, many Korean American mothers adopted religious views. This process was mediated by a strong affiliation with protestant Korean ethnic churches in the greater Los Angeles area. Although many of the Korean American parents (38%) were not religious prior to immigration, they joined these churches because the churches provided strong support for the immigrant community. For most parents, their religion helped them to dissipate self-blame. A large proportion of religious Korean American parents (75%) reported that they felt released from self-blame and/or changed from a feeling of hopelessness to hope through their affiliation with immigrant churches and their adoption of new beliefs.

Demands, Stress, and Strains

After regaining a sense of positive meaning, parents began to cope with daily routines. When asked about their children, Korean and Korean American participants often described demands related to meeting their children’s needs. In understanding these data, we used a distinction recommended by Glidden (1993) between demands (challenges posed by a life circumstance), stress (perceptions of threat or loss of resources), and strain (negative consequences of stress such as irritability, marital discord, etc.). In this way of thinking, originally derived from the research of Lazarus and Folkman (1984), demand may or may not lead to perception of stress, and stress may or may not lead to strain. Demand can also lead to perceptions of efficacy; stress may lead to effective coping and over time, to positive adaptation rather than stress. Parents in both groups reported several demands that led to perceptions and experiences of strain during some periods of time. The most potent sources of demand included challenging behavior of children, difficulties in obtaining information about disability and resources, maternal comparison of their exceptional children to typically developing children, and mothers’ concerns about the affect of the exceptional children on their siblings. These demands and related perceptions of stress cut across groups and are often reported in the literature about European American parents in the United States (Singer & Irvin, 1991).

Challenging Behavior. Children’s inappropriate social behaviors were a leading cause of emotional distress. Parents reported that behavioral problems at home and in communities wearied them and caused them to feel shame and embarrassment. In this study, 69% of the Korean and 50% of the Korean American parents reported that their children exhibited frequent behavior problems including tantrums, screaming, touching or grasping others’ belongings, running away from home, and exhibiting aggression. Severe behavior problems made it difficult for Korean American parents to find a respite care provider and, in both groups, challenging behavior made it more difficult to ask relatives or friends to babysit. These difficulties contributed to restricting parental social opportunities. In both groups, many parents of children with behavioral problems stated that they avoided situations with strangers: “I hold back from getting together with people because I am afraid that he will misbehave in front of them.” Public embarrassment, although a problem for the parents in both groups, was more common and intense for Korean mothers. Parents (25% Korean and 56% Korean American) of children without severe behavioral problems reported that they did not feel isolated, although some noted that a high level of caregiving demands restricted their outings.

In addition, finding an appropriate babysitter for the child was an issue in both groups. In Korea, respite care services were not available, and mothers were reluctant to call on friends or family. Therefore, mothers’ caregiving was continuous. Korean American parents knew the function and availability of respite care services. While parents of children without behavioral problems benefited from respite care services, parents of children with severe behavior had great difficulty finding an appropriate babysitter or round-the-clock caregiver with skills to deal with children’s challenging behavior. Both Korean and Korean American parents reported that when there were emergency situations, such as a mother’s hospitalization, their children were looked after by close relatives, such as a mother’s sister or a sister-in-law. Overall, parents of children with severely challenging behavior were deprived of opportunities for leisure time and were fatigued.

Public Attitudes About Disability. Substantial differences emerged in regard to perceptions of stress and strain between the two groups. First, when taking their children out in the community, Korean mothers reported frequently experiencing strangers’ staring and showing signs of displeasure. Public transportation in Korea appeared to be the place where the Korean mothers received the highest degree of negativity because buses and trains were usually crowded, and the drivers were sometimes intolerant of atypical behavior. By contrast, the Korean American mothers perceived their children’s unusual appearance or behavior problem as associated with less stress and subsequent strain than did their Korean peers. All of the Korean American mothers used private automobiles in the Los Angeles area. They evaluated societal responses much more positively than did their Korean peers. The Korean American mothers believed that non-Koreans in the United States were more accepting of individuals with disabilities and had more knowledge regarding disability than people of Korean origin. They also perceived higher levels of tolerance for their children’s challenging behavior from non-Koreans.

One Korean American mother had a firsthand experience contrasting Korean and U.S. reactions to the unusual behavior of a child. Her views were supported by all of the Korean American parents. Some months prior to the first interview, this mother stayed in Korea with her child with autism for two months. While in Korea, they mainly used the subway to travel around Seoul, and they encountered several negative responses from individuals on the subway. She recounted one event that typified these difficult experiences during her visit and compared it to her experiences in the United States:

Using public transportation was difficult because I experienced unavoidable

conflicts with people. She has a habit of standing on the seat before

sitting. When she did, some people did not tolerate it. They said things

like, “She is spoiled and has not learned her manners.” Before getting off,

I always cleaned the seat with my hands. Yet, I heard some complaints

behind our backs that kids are not disciplined for appropriate public

manners these days. People in Korea had zero tolerance for such behaviors.

I was so embarrassed when I was being blamed. People here in America know

about autism. But acquaintances and my relatives in Korea asked me what it

is when I said my child is autistic. No one knew about it there.

Comparing their experiences in the United States with those in their country of origin seemed to be a major cognitive process that the Korean American participants employed. Negative public responses made Korean parents emotionally vulnerable and led to strain while the Korean American parents perceived much more positive reactions from the public. Ogbu (1991) has argued that voluntary immigrants who come to the United States to make a better life generally conceptualize the new country positively in comparison to their nation of origin. By contrast, those who immigrated to escape war, persecution, famine, or other conditions may view the new society in a less positive light (Ogbu, 1991). In addition, there has been a century long tradition of efforts to change public attitudes about disability and to create professions to support people with disabilities. Thus, U.S. society is more accepting of people with disabilities today than it was some decades ago.

Transportation. The daily trip to school in Korea was not a minor matter. Most parents reported riding on the bus and/or subway for 1 1/2 to 3 hours a day. Of the 16 parents, 3 used their own cars, and the rest used buses or the subway to transport their children to school. This demand reduced their time for completing other tasks and also put them in much more contact in crowded circumstances with the public. Many unpleasant encounters happened with strangers on buses and subway trains. By contrast, because of the reliance on private transportation in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the Korean American parents needed to use private cars. As a result, they had fewer encounters with strangers under crowded conditions.

Educational Expenditures. Higher private educational expenditures caused considerable strain for the Korean parents. The interviews revealed that early childhood special education in Korea cost between 15% and 20% of these families’ incomes. There was no comparable entitlement for free appropriate early intervention, special education, and related services in Korea as there is under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in the United States. One Korean mother described how her relatives blamed her for providing costly special education for her child with mild developmental disabilities and for subsequently preventing the family from advancing economically. She stated,

My sisters-in-law often say that all their brother’s money goes to

educating Woo-Min …. When he suffered a severe epileptic disorder and had

to be hospitalized, my father-in-law told my aunt that he wished Woo-Min

would die because the medical bill was so expensive, and his son would

suffer paying the bills. He [her father-in-law] never believed that my son

would function normally, even if he got over it.

Language Barriers. Although Korean American participants were spared some of the major costs associated with childhood disability, the experience of language differences sometimes made it difficult for them to find information related to disabilities and to obtain public services. They reported that their lack of understanding of eligibility criteria for public services was problematic. A large percentage of the participants required translators, particularly for IFSP and IEP meetings, but reported great dissatisfaction with formal translators. In particular they complained that translators often understood neither the planning processes nor the specialized language used during IEP or IFSP meetings. The quotation below represented common complaints about formal translators:

I usually request a formal translator for IEP meetings, and I have never

been satisfied with any of them. The most serious problem is that they are

the first generation immigrants. So when I heard their English, I often

wondered what qualified them serve as a translator…. You should have

knowledge about special education if you are to serve as a translator. My

translator last time had no idea about autism, didn’t even know the term.

She used the characteristics of deafness in explaining those of autism.

Despite these problems, the Korean American mothers unanimously reported that the U.S. was a better place to raise their exceptional children than Korea, mainly because of differing public attitudes and available social services. Those who had direct experience with their exceptional children in both countries strongly emphasized this point. For example, one participant who had resided in Los Angeles for a few years reported that more public acceptance of and better social services for her son with cerebral palsy was a major reason that the family immigrated to the U.S. Another family came to the U.S. on a 3-year work permit. When their son was diagnosed with mild autism, the family decided to stay in the United States permanently on his behalf. The family knew that they were violating immigration laws but chose associated risks over returning to their native land where supports for him were not readily available and where people were generally less tolerant of behavioral differences. In other cases, although the child’s disability was not a major reason for the family immigrating to the U.S., mothers felt fortunate that they could raise their children in this country.

Social Support

Informal Social Support. The majority of the participants reported receiving informal social support, both emotional (91%) and practical (82%), from various sources including spouses, extended family members, and non-family members. The two groups differed in types and sources of perceived support. Contrary to our expectations, Korean American parents reported more social support than did the Korean parents. Marriage functioned as a stronger source of support in the United States than in Korea. While spouses (38%) and other parents of exceptional children (31%) were the major sources of emotional support for Korean mothers, spouses (69%) and family members from the maternal side (19%) were the major sources for Korean American mothers. Almost twice the number of Korean American mothers listed their spouse as a major source, compared with their Korean peers. It appeared that the marriages of Korean American parents were strengthened by the need to help one another with the challenges posed by living in a new society. For example, one Korean American mother stated, “All our family are in Korea and only we (her immediate nuclear family) are here in America. If we don’t help each other, who will help us?” Employment patterns in the two nations may also influence the quality of emotional relationships. Compared to 25% of spouses in the Korean American sample, 63% in the Korean sample were employed by companies. Corporate employment in Korea involves spending a great deal of time with other employees after work hours. It is not unusual for husbands to come home late most nights of the week. By contrast, the employment patterns of husbands in the Korean American sample did not require so much time outside of the home.

People outside of the family also were perceived sources of support in both nations. As described earlier, the church provided practical and emotional support for most of the Korean American families. In Korea, the pattern of extra-familial support was somewhat different. Approximately one third of Korean mothers reported perceived emotional support from other parents of children with disabilities. Because of the distance from their homes to the preschool in Pusan, most of the Korean mothers stayed at the school while their children were attending. As a result, they formed friendships with their peers. Overall, Korean parents reported lower perceptions of social support than did the Korean Americans. For example, compared to 81% of Korean parents, all Korean American parents (100%) reported perceived emotional support.

To our surprise, more Korean American mothers (94%) reported receiving practical support than their Korean counterparts (70%). Practical support included providing emergency childcare, translating, transporting a family member, and so forth. Extended family members (50%) and spouses (38%) were the major sources of practical support for the Korean American parents while extended family members (31%) and spouses (32%) were for the Korean parents. Korean parents perceived fewer sources of practical support than the immigrant mothers. Different employment patterns in the two countries appeared to have some impact on support networks. Fifty-six percent of Korean American mothers worked outside the home versus none in Korea.

Besides obtaining support from family members, the Korean American participants reported accepting a great deal of assistance from members of the churches with which they were affiliated. From the churches, 62% of Korean American mothers reported receiving emotional support compared to one of the Korean mothers who received some assistance from members of her faith. One Korean American mother of a boy who had Down syndrome and medical problems described the way that her church provided practical support:

None of the church members has hurt me. They often hold James and treat him

well. Every Sunday, one lady in the church prepares food for James and

feeds him. After Sunday service, we have lunch while socializing with one

another. During the lunch, I have a break from him and enjoy myself with

others my age. Many female church members take turns looking after him,

although I have never asked for it.

Perceived emotional and practical support appeared to be associated with emotional well-being for both Korean and Korean American mothers. In the interviews, mothers emphasized the importance of their marital relationship as a contributor to their well-being. The relative lack of spousal support may have been one of the contributors to levels of distress of Korean mothers.

Formal Social Support. The availability of formal social services was one of the major differences that Korean and Korean American parents reported. Formal social support provided by paid professionals appeared to substantially facilitate adaptive aspects of family functioning among Korean American families. Compared to their Korean counterparts, the Korean American parents highly valued social and public services, such as the availability of medical expertise, free public education for children with disabilities, school bus services, and case management systems. Their positive perceptions regarding the services follow:

There is no cerebral palsy specialist in Korea, but there are many in the

United States. They know what equipment my child needs and let me know

details about the equipment.

I guess educational systems here are much better than in Korea because the

U.S. provides free public education. I am very grateful to be here with my

child because the system and programs for exceptional children are well set


The society provides everything your child needs: free public education,

transportation, and social welfare services. Raising a special child is

challenging. But what if facilities for these children did not exist and

society did not accept them? It would be much harder to raise them.

The majority of Korean American parents responded positively, although some experienced difficulties interacting with professionals due to language and cultural differences. By contrast, the shortage of medical professionals with expertise in disabilities, lack of free schooling, and inadequate transportation appeared to pose considerable hardship on Korean parents. These participants believed that their doctors lacked technical skills and knowledge about disabilities. A large number of the Korean mothers reported that they took their children to child psychiatrists or pediatricians when they noticed that their children were not developing typically. However, their concerns were often ignored by their doctors, and the inadequate diagnostic skills of doctors often resulted in delayed or inaccurate diagnoses. As described earlier, Korean parents had to spend a large amount of family income on early intervention or special education programs for their children with disabilities. Unlike their Korean American peers, Korean parents had to devote a considerable part of their day to caregiving because schools, for the most part, did not provide transportation services. Apparently, the lack of or inadequate social support made the Korean parents frustrated and caused their parenting to be more difficult.


Our description of troubles and challenges should not imply that the parents and their families in this study viewed their lives as tragic or a cause for despair. Quite the opposite; most parents when making an overall judgment about the quality of their lives were positive. At the same time, they were clearly able to identify sources of daily difficulties and times of demoralization. We found that simple dichotomous statements about parental and family well-being (e.g., happy/sad, hopeful/hopeless, cohesive/uncohesive) did not fit our data. Instead, parental long-term reactions to their circumstances were characterized by mixed, sometimes ambiguous, feelings. Parents felt love and gratitude for their children with disabilities and, at the same time, felt sorrow and worry about the future.

The findings showed that children with disabilities provided their families with opportunities for personal growth and for learning and practicing virtues. For example, the majority of parents reported that they had changed for the better, becoming less selfish and more compassionate and tolerant. Religion played an important role in promoting positive resolution. Seventy percent of Korean and all of the Korean American participants were religious; 13% of the Korean and 62% of the Korean American mothers spoke about spiritual growth. For example, one mother noted,

If I had not had a disabled child, there would have been no way for me to

know everlasting God truly. I would rather choose to know God than to have

a normal child. After knowing God, she (daughter) became a source of good

fortune to me.

The religious parents in both groups talked about the ways that their children had strengthened their faith and had given them a way to develop important religious virtues such as patience and love. The following statements reflected these sentiments: “The presence of my child helps me understand people with disabilities.” “Because of my child, I became aware of and sensitive to socially disadvantaged people.” “I learned important lessons in life from parenting her.” “I began to view this world in a different way.” “Minor troubles no longer bother me.” All parents in this study reported their love and commitment to their children and their strong sense of responsibility for the well-being of their children.

Adaptation and Accommodation

The findings indicated that 63% of the Korean and 81% of the Korean American mothers described a process whereby initial negative reactions to their children gradually transformed into positive attributions and emotions. These positive views predominated except when children exhibited challenging behavior that distressed the parents, when they had trouble obtaining services, and when relatives and/or strangers blamed them for behavior problems exhibited by their children. Both Korean and Korean American mothers reported gaining real benefits from their experiences as parents, including improvement in their marital relationships and personal and family growth. According to the theory of cognitive adaptation (Taylor, 1983), positive attributions about their own efficacy and growth, as well as positive views of their children with disabilities, are likely to be associated with psychological well-being. Cognitive adaptation was a gradual process for almost all parents.

As predicted by ecocultural niche theory (Gallimore et al., 1989), the majority of parents reported adjusting their roles and routines in response to the challenges posed by raising a child with a disability. Accommodations included taking children to parks at times of day when other people were not around and using fast food restaurants where yelling or running around was relatively tolerated. Korean mothers made major accommodations in their daily schedule and routines because they chose to take their children to schools outside of their communities. The preschool and special education schools served children for several hours a day. Rather than going back and forth from the school twice, almost all of these mothers stayed in a room at the school until their children were dismissed. The parents talked with each other during this time and forged some strong alliances. Many parents in both groups reported that they learned how to be assertive about their children’s needs. The role of advocate is an unusual one for Korean mothers to assume. Although it is well-known that Korean mothers have historically played a major role in rearing and educating their children, their roles have been indirect and informal. In general, they provide their children not only with public education but also private educational resources, including private tutors and/or extracurricular activities, so that their children can excel in school. They have, however, demonstrated being passive in enhancing the quality of education or participating in establishing or modifying education in formal and direct ways (National Association of Parent for Cham–Education, 2000a). For example, corporal punishment has recently become a serious social issue in Korea. Young students are afraid of going to school because their teachers often administer corporal punishment to the entire class. Instead of filing a formal complaint to the principal or school district the parents of the students expressed their frustration and anger to the parent list group on the Internet or did not take any action (National Association of Parent for Cham–Education, 2000b). Several of the Korean mothers in this study also reported they were very frustrated and upset when the teachers of their children administered corporal punishment in inappropriate ways or when parents’ suggestions and comments were ignored. Nevertheless, they were reluctant to confront the professionals because doing so might have a negative impact on their children. Many of the Korean American parents could, however, no longer tolerate their children being unfairly treated or inappropriately served by the teachers or schools. If they had issues regarding their children, they sometimes, with the assistance of other parent advocates, raised the issues in the IEP meetings and openly discussed them with the professionals until their concerns were resolved. This change represented a considerable alteration in traditional gender roles and, as such, represented a major accommodation.


We designed this study to understand how the societal contexts in Korea and the U.S. affected parents’ experiences in parenting their children with disabilities. Patterns of similarities and differences across countries emerged (see Table 3).


Our findings suggested a strong relationship between social and cultural contexts and parental adaptation to an exceptional child. For example, negative public reactions and costly educational expenses were significant indicators of high degrees of psychological strain among the Korean parents. Forced exposure to the public in crowded public trains and buses was an example of the way that cultural attitudes and restricted resources interacted. Perceived tolerance in the United States and free public early intervention, education for children with disabilities, school bus services, and case management systems served as buffers against negative consequences for the Korean American parents. They did, however, experience other types of challenges such as linguistic and cultural limitations in understanding the language and interacting with professionals. Similarly, there emerged differences in parental interpretation of the causes of disability. Korean mothers were likely to attribute causality to their own behavior, such as poor Tae Gyo or poor early parenting, but Korean American mothers were likely to attribute the causes to a divine plan.

Religious interpretation appeared to relieve the Korean American parents from self-blame. Because of the strong influence of the Korean immigrant church, it makes sense that there was a stronger religious influence in the immigrant community. Hurh and Kim (1990) reported that 70% of Koreans in Los Angeles and 77% in Chicago were affiliated with Korean ethnic churches, and the vast majority of the church affiliates attended church routinely. Many of the parents in our study were not religious prior to immigration but joined the church for a sense of community and support. Thus cognitive adaptation occurred in a powerful social context.

This study further supports the theories that adaptation to a child’s disability is a complex interplay of the impact of environmental demands, perceptions of stress, social support, and cognitive and instrumental coping (e.g., Bristol, 1987; Friedrich, Wilturner, ex: Cohen, 1985; Singer & Irvin, 1991). Further, the presence of a disability presented unusual demands and related perceptions of stress, but it did not necessarily result in such a strain as damaged parent-sibling or marital relationships, or severe psychological distress.

Ecocultural Niche Theory

The findings in this study also support some of the tenets of ecocultural niche theory (Gallimore et al., 1989). The external environment as discussed above had a direct impact on family life. The theory asserts that families actively try to maintain culturally normative routines while making adaptations to their children’s needs. For example, education is a traditional value in Korean society. Both Korean and Korean American parents very actively pursued early intervention and special education for their children, even at great economic cost and even if mothers had to structure their day around going to and from schools in Korea. In keeping with the ecocultural niche theory, it is also clear that the parents were very active creators of accommodations. For example, many parents, in time, learned ways to include their children with behavior problems in family dining out. While in a restaurant, the parents asked for a table in a corner and placed the children on the corner seat so that they did not disturb others.

In one respect, our findings were incongruent with the tenets of ecocultural niche theory. It posits that families actively try to maintain culturally normative core values and daily routines, change them conservatively, and accommodate them to their children’s needs. The Korean American and Korean families were part of larger social changes so that family routines were rapidly changing as were some values. In Korea, the families were adapting to new urban, middle class forms of life, heavily influenced by the West. For example, many Korean parents lived in new apartment buildings designed for small nuclear families, separated from their extended family. They reported having less contact and support from their extended family than immigrants did. Most of the Korean American participants were in a process of acculturation. For example, 56% of Korean American mothers were employed part-time or more outside of the home, which contrasted sharply with the 100% of the Korean mothers who stayed at home. It is likely that the high level of maternal employment in the United States, the availability of daytime care for their children, and the kinds of small businesses that many of the immigrant families started encouraged women to participate in the workforce.

Korean American families had begun to go to fast food restaurants partly because the standards for child behavior in these settings were less stringent than in other restaurants. In part, their use of fast food was an adaptation to work schedules in which mothers had much less time to cook than in the past. In these situations it is difficult to determine what is normative family behavior as expressed in routines, what is an accommodation to the child’s need, and what core values are being preserved. Accommodations may be multiply determined in circumstances in which values are also changing.

Cognitive Adaptation Theory

In regard to the theory of cognitive adaptation (Taylor, 1983), both Korean and Korean American parents underwent a process of cognitive transformation that moved toward positive attributions and emotions. Our data does not provide enough information to determine whether or not the exact process described by Taylor occurred for participants in our two groups. Important differences of our findings are that cognitive adaptation was heavily influenced by the context and was neither unidirectional nor continuous. We found more complexity and ambiguity than implied by Taylor’s theory.

Implications for Practitioners

It is important for practitioners to be aware of the place that suicidal thoughts and, in some cases, actions occupied in these parents’ early experiences. Those professionals who are able to provide counseling or connect parents with counseling would be wise to probe for this ideation when parents are demoralized, particularly within the first 2 years following their child’s diagnosis. Professionals should connect parents with professionals who will understand the cultural context of suicidal thoughts and feelings. However, care must be taken not to assume that most parents from Korea undergo these reactions. In our study, a minority of parents reported that they had these experiences in the past, and a few described how suicidal ideas sometimes recurred. But for most parents, these ideas rarely returned and did not characterize their broad appraisals of their children and their family life. Overall, we were impressed by the resilience, commitment, and love that parents in both countries described. The vitality and relatively high morale of the Korean American parents demonstrated the vigor and hope of many new citizens.

Providers should also note that Korean American parents described a number of occasions in which translation services were not available, and they were not informed of service options for their children and families. When translators were provided for IFSP and IEP meetings, parents often did not trust the accuracy of the translations because the translators did not have an understanding of special education or early intervention. Program administrators should take into account the need for trained translators. Furthermore, parents in both groups experienced ongoing distress when their children engaged in challenging behavior. The Korean American parents had difficulty obtaining behavioral support services. The need for home-based services was apparent, as was the need for assistance obtaining these services. Again, language was a major barrier in accessing what behavioral services were available.

We found the experience of listening to the Korean American parents to be heartening. Although we have often been reminded of the shortcomings of our service systems in the United States, their comparisons with conditions in Korea and parents’ surprise and gratitude for the supports available in the United States provided a perspective that is sometimes forgotten. Ongoing efforts to create a more tolerant, inclusive, and accepting society were greatly appreciated by these parents who felt a sense of liberation from a less accepting public in their country of origin. The Korean American parents were also appreciative of professional services and support when it was provided by well-informed individuals and when translation was available.

This study also shows some of the difficulties that parents encounter in developing nations where public resources for social welfare services are only beginning to be available and where a tradition of services for people with disabilities and their families does not exist. The expense, distance, and limited availability of education programs for children with disabilities in Korea as well as frequent negative responses by strangers were associated with demoralization and daily difficulties for Korean parents.

As with any study with a small number of subjects, generalization of findings beyond this sample should be made with caution. Matching families across two groups was not exact. Due to the great difficulties locating the study samples, recruiting nonreligious Korean American parents with similar levels of education, and/or Korean parents who could not afford early intervention programs for their children was not possible. There may be characteristics of people who immigrate to a new country that make them different from their fellow Koreans who do not immigrate. Limited space did not allow us to present other major themes that further clarify possible causes for the differences between the two groups: mothers’ daily routines, diverse functions of parental support groups, Korean American parents’ changing beliefs, and roles of social comparison. Further comparative research should be pursued to yield information and insight. Longitudinal research that would track recent immigrants as they acculturate and further accommodate to U.S. society would be useful as would longitudinal follow up of Korean parents as they confront a rapidly modernizing society.


Our sincere thanks are given to study participants in Korea and the United States.


Behr, S., & Murphy, D. (1993). Research progress and promise. In A. P. Turnbull, J. M. Patterson, S. K. Behr, D. L. Murphy, J. G. Marquis, & M. J. Blue-Banning (Eds.), Cognitive coping, families, and disability (pp.135-150). Baltimore: Brookes.

Bristol, M. M. (1987). The home care of children with developmental disabilities: Empirical support for a model of successful family coping with stress. In S. Landesman & P. Vietze (Eds.), Living environments and mental retardation (pp. 401-422). Washington, DC: American Association on Mental Retardation.

Chan, S. (1986). Parents of exceptional Asian children. In M. K. Kitano & E C. Chinn (Eds.), Exceptional Asian children and youth. Reston, VA: Council for Exceptional Children.

Fatimilehin, I. A., & Nadirshaw, Z. (1994). A cross-cultural study of parental attitudes and beliefs about learning disability (mental handicap). Mental Handicap Research, 7(3), 202-227.

Friedrich, W. N., Wilturner, L. T., & Cohen, D. S. (1985). Coping resources and parenting mentally retarded children. American Journal of Mental Deficiency, 90, 130-139.

Gallimore, R., Weisner, T. S.,. Kaufman, S. Z., & Bernheimer, L. P. (1989). The social construction of ecocultural niches: Family accommodation of developmentally delayed children. American Journal on Mental Retardation, 94(3), 216-230.

Glidden, L. M. (1993). What we do not know about families with children who have developmental disabilities: Questionnaire on resources and stress as a case study. American Journal on Mental Retardation, 97(5), 481-495.

Green, J. S. (1982). Cultural awareness in the human services. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Harry, B., Kalyanpur, M., & Day, M. (1999). Building cultural reciprocity with families: Case studies in special education. Baltimore: Brookes.

Hurh, W. M., & Kim, K. C. (1990). Religious participation of Korean immigrants in the United States. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 29(1), 19-34.

Kalyanpur, M., & Harry, B. (1999). Culture in special education: Building reciprocal family-professional relationships. Baltimore: Brookes.

Korean Consumer Price Indexes. (Sept. 1996). Quarterly Bulletin of International Statistics. Korea: National Statistical Office.

Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal, and coping. New York: Springer.

Lynch, E. W., & Hanson, M. J. (1998). Developing cross-cultural competence: A guide for working with children and their families (2nd ed.). Baltimore: Brookes.

Marsella, A. J. (1987). The measurement of depressive behavior and disorder across cultures. In A. J. Marsella, R. M. A. Hirschfeld, & M. M. Katz (Eds.), The measurement of depression (pp. 376-397). New York: Guilford Press.

National Association of Parent for Cham–Education. (2000a). The code for parents of school children. Available:

National Association of Parent for Cham–Education. (2000b). Do we let our children hurt and die in school? Available:

Ogbu, J. (1991). Immigrant and involuntary minorities in comparative perspective. In M. A. Gibson & J. U. Ogbu (Eds.), Minority status and schooling: A comparative study of immigrant and involuntary minorities (pp. 3-33). New York: Garland.

Patton, M. Q. (1990). Qualitative evaluation and research methods (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Pusan Educational Office. (1996). Estimated special education school in 1995. School District data book. Korea: Author.

Raghvan, C., Weisner, T. S., & D. Patel. (1999). The adaptive project of parenting: South Asian families with children with developmental delays. Education and Training in Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, 34(3), 281-292.

Ryan, A. S., & Smith, M. (1989). Parental reactions to developmental disabilities in Chinese American families. Child and Adolescent Social Work, 6(4), 283-299.

Singer, G. H. S., & Irvin, L. K. (1991). Supporting families of persons with severe disabilities: Emerging findings, issues and questions. In H. Meyer, C. A. Peck, & L. Brown (Eds.), Critical issues in the lives of people with severe disabilities (pp. 271-312). Baltimore: Brookes.

Statistical Abstract of the United States. (1996). National data book. (No. 692). U.S. Department of Commerce.

Strauss, A., & Corbin, J. (1997). Grounded theory in practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Summers, J. A., Behr, S. K., & Turnbull, A. P. (1989). Positive adaptation and coping strengths of families who have children with disabilities. In G. H. S. Singer & L. K. Irvin (Eds.), Support for caregiving families: Enabling positive adaptation to disability (pp. 27-40). Baltimore: Brookes.

Taylor, S. E. (1983). Adjustment to threatening events: A theory of cognitive adaptation. American Psychologist, 38(11), 1161-1173.

U.S. Census Bureau. (1999). Characteristics of the population. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Commerce.

Valdes, G. (1996). Con Respeto: Bridging the distances between culturally diverse families and schools. New York: Teachers College.

Annual Index

Topics in Early Childhood Special Education

Spring 2000-Winter 2000 Volume 20

BAILEY, Jr., Donald B.: The Federal Role in Early Intervention: Prospects for the Future, 71-78.

BELLAND, John: See HAINS, Ann Higgins, 132-144.

BRENNER, Mary: See CHO, Su-Je, 236-249.

BRICKER, Diane: Inclusion: How the Scene Has Changed, 14-19.

BRUDER, Mary Beth: Family-Centered Early Intervention: Clarifying Our Values for the New Millennium, 105-115, 122.

BUEHLMAN, Kim: See KELLY, Jean F., 174-185.

CALDWELL, Kathryn: See KELLY, Jean F., 174-185.

CAMETO, Renee: See SPIKER, Donna, 195-207.

CHO, Su-Je; SINGER, George; BRENNER, Mary: Adaptation and Accommodation to Young Children with Disabilities: A Comparison of Korean and Korean American Immigrant Families, 236-249.

CONCEICAO-RUNLEE, Simone: See HAINS, Ann Higgins, 132-144.

COSTENBADER, Virginia: See HOLAHAN, Annette, 224-235.

DUNST, Carl J.: Revisiting “Rethinking Early Intervention,” 95-104.

FEWELL, Rebecca R.: Assessment of Young Children with Special Needs: Foundations for Tomorrow, 38-42; In Memorium: David Sexton, PhD, 130.

GALLAGHER, James J.: The Beginnings of Federal Help for Young Children with Disabilities, 3-6.

GAST, David L.: See WOLERY, Mark, 49-55.

HAINS, Ann Higgins; BELLAND, John; CONCEICAO-RUNLEE, Simone; SANTOS, Rosa Milagros; ROTHENBERG, Dianne: Instructional Technology and Personnel Preparation, 132-144.

HART, Betty: A Natural History of Early Language Experience, 28-32.

HEBBELER, Kathleen: See SPIKER, Donna, 195-207.

HEMMETER, Mary Louise: Classroom-Based Interventions: Evaluating the Past and Looking Toward the Future, 56-61.

HITCHCOCK, Caryl H.; NOONAN, Mary Jo: Computer-Assisted Instruction of Early Academic Skills, 145-158.

HOLAHAN, Annette; COSTENBADER, Virginia: A Comparison of Developmental Gains for Preschool Children with Disabilities in Inclusive and Self-Contained Classrooms, 224-235.

HORN, Eva; LIEBER, Joan; SANDALL, Susan; SCHWARTZ, Ilene; LI, Shouming: Supporting Young Children’s IEP Goals in Inclusive Settings Through Embedded Learning Opportunities, 208-223.

HOYSON, Marilyn: See STRAIN, Phillip S., 116-122.

HUTINGER, Patricia L.; JOHANSON, Joyce: Implementing and Maintaining an Effective Early Childhood Comprehensive Technology System, 159-173.

JOHANSON, Joyce: See HUTINGER, Patricia L., 159-173.

KELLY, Jean F.; BUEHLMAN, Kim; CALDWELL, Kathryn: Training Personnel to Promote Quality Parent-Child Interaction in Families Who Are Homeless, 174-185.

LI, Shouming: See HORN, Eva, 208-223.

LIEBER, Joan: See HORN, Eva, 208-223.

LUZE, Gayle: A Review of Designing Preschool Interventions: A Practitioner’s Guide, 186-189.

MCCOLLUM, Jeanette A.: Taking the Past Along: Reflecting on Our Identity as a Discipline, 79-86, 94.

MCCONNELL, Scott R.: Assessment in Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education: Building on the Past to Project Into Our Future, 43-48.

MCKENNA, Patti: See SPIKER, Donna, 195-207.

NOONAN, Mary Jo: See HITCHCOCK, Caryl H., 145-158.

ODOM, Samuel L.: Preschool Inclusion: What We Know and Where We Go From Here, 20-27.

ROTHENBERG, Dianne: See HAINS, Ann Higgins, 132-144.

SANDALL, Susan: See HORN, Eva, 208-223.

SANTOS, Rosa Milagros: See HAINS, Ann Higgins, 132-144.

SCHWARTZ, Ilene S.: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Looking Ahead to Facilitating Membership and Relationships for Children with Disabilities, 123-128.

SCHWARTZ, Ilene: See HORN, Eva, 208-223.

SINGER, George: See CHO, Su-Je, 236-249.

SMITH, Barbara J.: The Federal Role in Early Childhood Special Education Policy in the Next Century: The Responsibility of the Individual, 7-13.

SPIKER, Donna; HEBBELER, Kathleen; WAGNER, Mary; CAMETO, Renee; MCKENNA, Patti: A Framework for Describing Variations in State Early Intervention Systems, 195-207.

STRAIN, Phillip S.; HOYSON, Marilyn: The Need for Longitudinal, Intensive Social Skill Intervention: LEAP Follow-Up Outcomes for Children with Autism, 116-122.

STYFCO, Sally J.: See ZIGLER, Edward, 67-70, 78.

WAGNER, Mary: See SPIKER, Donna, 195-207.

WARREN, Steven F.: The Future of Early Communication and Language Intervention, 33-37.

WINTON, Pamela J.: Early Childhood Intervention Personnel Preparation: Backward Mapping for Future Planning, 87-94.

WOLERY, Mark; GAST, David L.: Classroom Research for Young Children with Disabilities: Assumptions That Guided the Conduct of Research, 49-55.

ZIGLER, Edward; STYFCO, Sally J.: Pioneering Steps (and Fumbles) in Developing a Federal Preschool Intervention, 67-70, 78.

Su-Je Cho, University of Hartford, George H. S. Singer, and Mary (Betsy) Brenner, University of California, Santa Barbara

Address: Su-Je Cho, University of Hartford, DIvision of Education, 200 Bloomfield Avenue, West Hartford, CT 06117.


COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group