Truancy Intervention: How Does it Affect the Special Education Students?

Gina Michel Luby, Gang Crime Preventio Center

Although considerable research has been done on truant children, causes of truancy, and the ramifications incurred by the minor and society, little attention has been paid to truant students who are receiving or are enrolled in special education programs. Numerous studies have found a link between truancy and juvenile delinquency. Likewise, there are studies that link disabilities (that would require special education) with delinquency. However, rarely is the intersection of these phenomena (truancy, special education, and delinquency) looked at. This study focuses on those students who are considered at-risk for delinquency because they are both truant and in special education. Specifically, I attempt to answer the question: Does a truancy program aimed at an inclusive eduational setting address the issues of truancy by increasing attendance for special education students the same as it does for students in the regular curriculum? Attendance data and parent interviews were used to assess the progress of chronically truant students involved in a truancy intervention program in central Illinois. The findings indicate that (1) parents of special education students are more likely to get involved in bettering the attendance of their child(ren) and (2) special education students' attendance rates increased more dramatically than those of the regular curriculum students.

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Updated 05/20/2006