Date of Conferral







Melanie Shores


Children with disabilities require services that are covered under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to be successful in school. Early intervention, which is made available to all who qualify, provides services with a team that works directly with the family. However, when the child turns three years of age, the family is transitioned to their local education agency (LEA). The level of support at this point lessens as the school takes over services for the child. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the experiences of parents with children with disabilities during the transition from early intervention to their LEA. Data were collected from semi structured interviews with 10 participants who had a child who qualified for and received early intervention services. Coding analysis was conducted to identify themes to answer the research question. Parents expressed how they went from a supportive environment with early intervention to feeling unsupported in the school’s individual education plan (IEP) environment. Results showed how parents felt unprepared and unaware of how the transition process would go. The results also indicated the lack of advocacy that was being done on parents’ behalf for their children. The goal for social change would be for the school’s IEP team to provide similar support to families who are transitioning their children with disabilities. Further goals for social change would be to provide additional education to parents so they feel prepared for the next steps as their children progress in school settings.