Academic journal article Education

Reasons Behind Variation of Parents' Satisfaction with Services Provided to Their Children with Learning Disabilities

Academic journal article Education

Reasons Behind Variation of Parents' Satisfaction with Services Provided to Their Children with Learning Disabilities

Article excerpt

This is a research project that was supported by a grant from the Research Center for the Humanities, Deanship of Scientific Research at King Saud University.

Introduction and Background

Learning disabilities have received a considerable attention in literature due to the diversity of their manifestations, the extent of their spread, and the diversity of the educational programs which aim at treating them. Smith (2004) points out that the American Federal Government in 1999 provided a definition for learning disabilities, "Special Learning Disability," which means a disorder in one or more of the psychological processes used in understanding or using spoken or written language, and which is manifested in the incomplete ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, and spell.

Learning disabilities are classified into two groups; first, developmental learning disabilities, which are the difficulties related to a disorder or dysfunction in the basic psychological processes essential for academic learning, such as attention, retention, perception, thinking, language, and cognitive and psychomotor processes. Second, academic learning disabilities, which children in various classroom levels encounter and are related to learning to read, write, calculate, and spell (Abunyan, 2007).

The resources room in regular schools is considered as one of the educational places in which students with learning disabilities receive services which help them overcome the academic and developmental problems they suffer from (Frend & Bursuck, 2002). A few people also consider learning disabilities and the resources room two sides of the same coin since the children with learning disabilities are the most frequent users of the resources room (Al-Sartawi&Abunyan, 1998).However, the resources room's programs require a development in line with the characteristics of those students as well as with the supporters of this model in order to be continuously viewed as an important alternative in special education (McNamer, 1998). It is also known that the learning disabilities category is one of the most prevalent and integrated categories among people with special needs (Lerner, 2000).

In Campbell's study (1995), a complete services program was integrated which was given to families with children with learning disabilities through weekly home visits. "Parents' Conviction Questionnaire" was used in order to find out the effectiveness of this program which focuses on the family's needs, provides support for the family, and identifies the family's needs and strengths with the aim of strengthening family unity. This has been applied to ten families with children with learning disabilities. The results showed that the program was very successful and many families expressed their admiration and support for such programs.

Bairat's study (2005) aimed to determine the satisfaction of the parents of the students with learning disabilities integrated in regular schools. The results indicated a high level of satisfaction with the services offered. The study also revealed that mothers had a higher degree of satisfaction than fathers.

On the other hand, some studies reflected negative attitudes towards the services provided to students in resources rooms. For example, Stephenson (1992) aimed to find out the extent of parents' satisfaction with the integration of their children in the resources rooms. The researcher interviewed four mothers of children with learning disabilities enrolled in the resources rooms, aged (10-18 years). A year after the enrollment of these students in the resources rooms, the mothers showed high levels of frustration and dissatisfaction and lack of satisfaction with the integration of the children, and their enrollment in the resources rooms or the services provided.

Spann & Soenksen (2003) also conducted a study that focused on identifying the level of the parents' satisfaction with the services provided to their children in schools. …

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