Promoting Engagement and Involvement of Parents with Cognitive Challenges: Suggestions for Head Start Programs

Authors

  • Sandra T. Azar Pennsylvania State University
  • Elizabeth A. Miller Pennsylvania State University
  • Michael T. Stevenson Pennsylvania State University

Keywords:

parents with cognitive challenges, parent engagement, school involvement, Head Start.

Abstract

 Parents with cognitive challenges (PCC) appear to be overrepresented in Head Start parent populations. Engaging and involving PCC in their children’s education presents unique challenges for Head Start staff. We discuss how parents’ difficulties in social information processing and low educational self-efficacy affect their capacity for engagement and involvement. Because engagement and involvement involve both parents and staff, we present suggestions for building the capacity of staff members and leaders to work with the special needs of PCC, as well as minimizing the potential for their own bias to affect engagement of PCC. Finally, we suggest programming adaptations to better accommodate the needs of PCC.

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Published

2013-04-05

Issue

Section

Dialog from the Field