2015 TASH Conference has ended
This year’s theme, “Celebrating 40 Years of Progressive Leadership,” acknowledges TASH’s 40 years of generating change within the disability community and anticipates a brighter, more inclusive future for people with disabilities in all aspects of life. Each year, the TASH Conference impacts the disability field by connecting attendees to innovative information and resources, facilitating connections between stakeholders within the disability movement, and helping attendees reignite their passion for an inclusive world.

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Friday, December 4 • 9:20am - 10:10am
Positive Parenting of Infants and Toddlers by Mothers with Intellectual Disabilities LIMITED

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Limited Capacity seats available

Despite 40 years of progress regarding issues of sexuality and rights to live in the community with supports (TASH, 1991, 2000a, 200b), mothers with learning difficulties continue to lose custody of their children at a rate higher than any other part of the population. With positive supports and resources, these mothers can successfully parent their children. Case studies will describe the use of the Parent Infant Interaction Curriculum by a home visitor to support mothers and their infants and toddlers. Intervention processes utilize principles of self-determination, universal design for learning, and coaching to increase parents? use of positive interactive behaviors. OBJECTIVES: 1. Describe a process of goal-setting and support with parents who have learning difficulties that incorporates the principles of self-determination and universal design for learning. 2. Identify strategies to increase positive parent-infant interaction. 3. Identify supports, materials, and resources for use by home visitors and parents. 4. Identify data collection tools to monitor changes in interactive behaviors. 5. Describe outcomes of intervention to support parent-infant interaction. IMPORTANCE: Parents with learning difficulties are at risk of losing their children through court proceedings and the assumption of their incompetence as parents (National Council on Disability, 2012). However, when education and support are provided, research indicates positive outcomes for these parents and children (Coren, Thomae, & Hutchfield, 2011; Feldman, 2010). TRANSLATING TOPIC INTO NEW OUTCOMES:Parents with significant learning difficulties are at risk of losing their children through child-protection court proceedings and the assumption of their incompetence as parents (McConnell, & Sigurjonsdottir, 2010; National Council on Disability [NCD], 2012). These risks are often confounded with other risk factors affecting these families (e.g., poverty, educational level of parents, stress, depression and health issues). However, when education and support are provided for parents with learning difficulties, research indicates positive outcomes for parents and their children (Coren, Thomae, & Hutchfield, 2011; Feldman, 2010; Wade, Llewellyn, & Matthews, 2008). Enhancing parent-infant interaction can improve outcomes for infants and toddlers who are at risk due to a variety of factors (Kim & Mahoney, 2004; Landy & Menna, 2006); and some research suggests that risks due to parental learning difficulties may be mitigated by quality parent-infant interaction (van Bakel and Riksen-Walraven, 2002). This presentation describes strategies and universally designed materials to better prepare home visitors to support parents with learning difficulties and to empower parents to set goals and enhance their use of positive interactive behaviors with their young child. Mothers who receive support and demonstrate positive parenting are more likely to retain custody of their child and contribute to their child?s healthy development. Additionally, this presentation provides information for further development of strategies and materials to support parents with learning difficulties and further research to identify effective and empowering methods of support for these parents and their young children.


Ruth Falco

Director, RCIEP, Portland State University, Dept. of Special Education
Inclusive education, preschool - postsecondary

Friday December 4, 2015 9:20am - 10:10am PST
Salon B 1401 SW Naito Parkway Portland, OR 97201

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