Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Transition, Early Childhood, Early Childhood Intervention, Early Childhood Special Education, Service Coordination

Major Advisor

Mary Beth Bruder

Associate Advisor

George Sugai

Associate Advisor

Carl Dunst

Associate Advisor

Michael Coyne

Field of Study

Educational Psychology


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


The transition between IDEA Part C early intervention and Part B 619 preschool special education is one of many transitions experienced by young children with disabilities and their families. Transition is a continuous process, not a discrete event, and Part C service coordinators are charged with facilitating the early intervention transition process for children and families (IDEA, 636. 20 USC § 1436, 2004). An exploratory study was conducted to better understand service coordinator reported practices and child and family transition outcomes using case study research methodology. Eleven participating Part C service coordinators described judgments of their experiences with two families, a family for whom the transitions went well and a family for whom the transition did not go well. Results of an iterative qualitative process identified successful and unsuccessful outcomes, as reported by service coordinators, of family transition experiences, including continuity of service, parent preparedness, and parent satisfaction with preschool programs. Results of quantitative analyses showed that the consistent use of communication and collaboration service coordinator practices were related to reported successful transition-related outcomes for children and families. In contrast, practices implemented with less consistency showed reported transition outcomes to be less successful. Quantitative analyses of 22 family experiences indicated a higher proportion of families classified as low income and higher proportions or children with more severe disabilities experienced unsuccessful transitions.