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Research Interests

My research focuses on young children with disabilities who have experienced or are at risk for trauma (abuse, neglect, and or maltreatment etc.) and the formal and informal service delivery systems in which they participate. The long term goal of my research is to make high quality early childhood special education (ECSE) services accessible for all young children with disabilities and their families. My primary line of research examines ECSE experiences for young children who have experienced trauma. My work addresses the critical questions of: what types of support do young children/families who have experienced trauma need?; what types of support do ECSE professionals working with children/families who have experienced trauma need?; and how can service systems can meet the needs of children/families who have experienced trauma and ECSE professionals? The overarching purpose of this research is to facilitate service delivery to young children and their families that is both effective and efficient.

A second area of focus in my work relates to mixed methods research (MMR), approaches that are gaining popularity in the social sciences. Although, the field of special education has made consistent efforts to ensure researchers employ rigorous methods, the seminal work undertaken to advance research quality has focused predominately on the use of single methods approaches (Brantlinger, Jimenez, Klingner, Pugach, & Richardson, 2005; Gersten et al., 2005; Horner et al., 2005; Thompson, Diamond, McWilliam, Snyder, & Snyder, 2005;). While MMR approaches may be unfamiliar to many in the field of special education, when applied purposefully and rigorously, MMR can uniquely contribute to and enhance special education research. MMR designs yield great opportunities for special education researchers to strengthen and expand our methodological techniques. The overarching purpose of this research is to better design rigorous and responsive MMR studies that will inform the evidence base for supporting individuals with disabilities.

Keywords

  • L Education
  • Early Childhood Special Education
  • Trauma
  • Mixed Methods Research

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