University of Nebraska-Lincoln researchers have received a $3.2 million grant to evaluate a program designed to keep kids with emotional and behavioral disorders in school.
Assistant UNL Professor in Special Education and Communications Disorders Kristin Duppong Hurley says a special parent-to-parent support program seems to be effective.
“By having the parents of school children who have successfully navigated those difficult Middle School years actually get back and work with families with current kids in the school. So, it’s linking families to other families to help them figure out how to best navigate the school system as well as community mental health services that are available,” Duppony Hurley tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.
Research indicates school children with emotional and behavioral disorders are more likely to miss school, fail classes and drop out than other groups of students with disabilities.
Duppong Hurley points out the program relies on communication via telephone, making it easy to use and non-intrusive.
“It’s a really simple type of program; something that families can really do and carry on over the whole academic school year,” according to Duppong Hurley.
UNL researchers will study the Parent Connectors Program for four years. The program focuses on children with significant conduct and impulse problems, such as lashing out at teachers or fighting with classmates. Research has determined that early parental involvement is the biggest factor in such children proving successful in school.
Jane Monnich, KLIN, contributed to this report.