Using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study–Birth (ECLS-B) cohort, Clinical Assistant Professor Pamela Epley examined the relationship between typical home-based learning activities and early school performance for children with disabilities.

While parental engagement in activities such as reading with and telling stories to their child has been associated with early school performance for children without disabilities, little to no research exists on how these natural learning opportunities impact young children with disabilities.

Findings suggest that parent engagement in home learning activities is associated with early literacy and math skills in kindergarten and that this relationship exist for children with a broad range of disabilities. This research has important implications for how parent involvement and natural environment are conceptualized within early childhood special education and the provision of family supports and services aimed at meeting families’ needs and enhancing their ability to support their child’s development.