Preschool Transition for Asian American Families
"We immigrated to the USA from China several years ago. My son has been receiving early intervention services and now he is two and half years old. The service providers are talking with me about full-day preschool options. However, I prefer to educate him at home. How can I work with providers on this issue?"
According to the 27th Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of IDEA, 16,964 Asian/Pacific American children aged 3 through 5 receive early childhood special education services, and about 14.3% of Asian/Pacific Americans have their Part B eligibility undetermined when they turn 3 (OSERS, 2007). In this Knowledge-to-Action Guide, we focus on Asian American children's transition from early intervention (Part C) to preschool services (Part B).
- Select goals for child, share your ideas with preschool professionals, and learn about your rights and responsibilities. Ask for the early intervention teacher to provide a short period of teaching or services at home after transition, and then gradually move towards preschool learning. Having a gradual shift in teachers may help your child have a better adjust to the new preschool environment.
- Work closely with professionals to evaluate the transition in order to provide them with insights into your cultural beliefs and to their ability to provide support to your child and family.
- Be more open! Recognize your important role in transition planning, speak out, and act more bravely. Ask the transition or preschool professionals to explain any jargons of special education you are not familiar with. Learn the necessary special education words to advocate for your child! You can look up information on the Internet or in books to be more knowledgeable.
- Network with other families. Consider having a family mentor to help you with questions and also attend the transition meeting for a sense of support.