Military families with young children with disabilities: Families’ and providers’ perceptions

Michelle M. Sands, Stacy N. McGuire, Hedda Meadan, Robyn DiPietro-Wells, Rebecca E. Hacker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Active duty military families have unique life experiences that can affect individual members and also the family as a whole. While many benefits to the military lifestyle exist, previous research has described how children of active duty military families may also be more at-risk for emotional and academic difficulties as a result of parent absence, family stress or strain. For active duty military families who have children with disabilities, mobility and change can be especially stressful. However, limited research has been conducted to understand the experiences and perceptions of military families who have young children with disabilities. The purpose of this study was to explore (a) the experiences and needs of military families with young children with disabilities, and (b) the experiences and recommendations of early intervention professionals who work with young children with disabilities and their military families. Semi-structured individual interviews were conducted with six active duty military family members who have a children with disabilities, and focus groups were conducted with 12 early intervention service providers. Findings of the study include unique experiences and needs of military family members with young children with disabilities that have been highlighted in previous literature, as well as some unique findings specific to those receiving services under part of Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-71
Number of pages11
JournalEarly Childhood Research Quarterly
StatePublished - Jul 1 2023


  • Disability
  • Early intervention
  • Family
  • Military
  • Young child

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Military families with young children with disabilities: Families’ and providers’ perceptions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this