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Department of Special Education

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IMAGINE participating in innovative research and teacher education programs. That's what you'll find in the Department of Special Education at Illinois... opportunities to impact society. 

U.S. News & World Report Rankings

Our College is a Top 25 college of education and many of our programs are in the top 10 according to the just released 2016 Graduate College rankings in U.S. News and World Report. The Special Education Department went up in ranking this year.

New YouTube Video highlighting Goldstick Family Initiative

Marissa's Story

Phillip C. and Beverly Kramer Goldstick Acting on their desire to help children and their families in a tangible way, Mr. and Mrs. Goldstick generously endowed a sustainable training and research program in the area of communication disorders in children and youth in the Department of Special Education at the College of Education at Illinois. Each year, the initiative, along with today's Goldstick Family Lecture, continues to provide new methods and practices to families and schools to ensure that children, regardless of disability, have the opportunity to live as independently as possible in their home, neighborhood, and community. Mr. Goldstick holds a bachelors degree from the University of Illinois, and their generous gifts to the university have supported a range of programming including student scholarships, fine arts, athletics, and research.

Dr. Meghan Burke receives
Organization for Autism Research Grant

The Organization for Autism Research grant Dr. Meghan Burke has been awarded, is adapted to the Volunteer Advocacy Project for Spanish-speaking families of children with ASD and to conduct a pilot RCT regarding its effectiveness. Although many parents struggle to ensure that their children with disabilities receive appropriate educational services, Spanish-speaking parents of children with disabilities especially face logistical and attitudinal obstacles in developing strong partnerships with the school as well as retaining needed services. Still further, families of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) (versus other types of disabilities) are most likely to encounter conflicts with the school system. Using a randomized control trial, the purpose of this project is to examine the effectiveness of a Latino Parent Leader Support Project (LPLSP) in increasing empowerment, communication with the school, special education knowledge, student progress, quality of the family-school partnership, and satisfaction with services among Spanish-speaking, Latino parents of students with autism. We will also examine the effect of the training upon participation in Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings. We expect that each of the forty graduates of the LPLSP will support four additional Spanish-speaking families of children with autism. We will conduct pre and post surveys with these families to determine the effectiveness of the LPLSP graduate upon the families’ satisfaction with services, empowerment, and special education knowledge. Thus, in addition to the 40 LPLSP graduates, an additional 160 families will be served by this project.