Researchers from Kansas State University are offering advice for working with special-needs or low-income students in rural areas: Provide special programs for female students with disabilities, consider the hardships of low-income families when creating family-involvement programs, and advocate for anti-poverty programs.
Their study is published in the spring issue of the Rural Special Education Quarterly.
Part of a larger study that involved 263 women in poor families from four states—Florida, Kansas, Tennessee, and Texas—the report focuses on the 136 mothers living in rural areas. Forty percent had at least one child with special needs—a proportion the researchers say is “alarmingly high when compared to general national figures.”
The study also notes a link between mothers special-needs status and that of their children. Twice as many mothers’ of children with special needs, compared with those of nonspecial-needs students, reported having language, learning, or behavior problems themselves in school.
A version of this article appeared in the August 24, 2011 edition of Education Week as Rural Schools