K438 – Working with Families and Children with Diverse Abilities
This course provides students with frameworks and skills for working with people who have diverse abilities and their families. We will explore the interdependence of biology including physical growth and development, family, community, and society (race, class, gender, and culture) on development, health, education, and well-being across the life span, in order to understand the kinds of challenges people face, as well as to recognize the strengths they possess to meet these challenges. An emphasis will be placed on developing the skills to effectively communicate, support, empower and advocate for and with them within nested and interacting contexts, including early intervention, (special) education, social services, medical, mental health, and child welfare. The first third of the course provides frameworks and ideas. The remainder of the course will be spent engaging in case study analyses, simulations, and collaborative activities as the primary means of considering children’s and families’ perspectives and experiences and professionals’ roles in helping people to negotiate the multiple systems they may encounter.