Clinical Assistant Professor Pamela Epley recently published findings based on data from the Kansas Kindergarten Readiness study, a statewide study that examined influencing factors of early school performance for kindergarteners. Professor Epley’s research study focused on kindergarten readiness for young children with disabilities, specifically examining the relationship between the involvement of parents and early childhood special education services in everyday learning activities, and the academic and social-behavioral skills of children with disabilities at the beginning of kindergarten. Findings related to preschool special education services showed a much stronger relationship between children’s social-behavioral performance than their academic skills. Parents’ involvement in everyday learning activities also predicted early school performance, but was equally related to social-behavioral and academic skills.

Findings from this research support limited evidence connecting preschool special education services to school performance. Findings also highlight the benefit of everyday learning activities for children with disabilities and their families, and have implications for how professionals support families in engaging in these types of activities.