Associate Professor Theresa A. Quigney puts 30 years experience toward co-authoring book on counseling students with special needs

Education Department associate professor Theresa A. Quigney recently co-authored her first full-length book, “Working with Students with Disabilities.”

“It was thrilling, it was exciting,” Quigney said. “I worked very hard on it and it was very exciting to see it in print and realize it had come to fruition.”

Quigney is an experienced author but in the past has written chapters for books and journal articles rather than her own book. It took nearly two years to write Working with Students with her co-author Jeannine R. Studer.

The book is directed at school counselors who don’t have adequate preparation working in special education for children with disabilities.

The American School Counselor Association provides standards for school counselors but Quigney and Struder believe that too often, counselors are not prepared for the unique needs of special education students.

Quigney and Studer made a good team because their areas of expertise complement each other. Quigney’s background is in special education and Struder’s is in school counseling.

The book is divided into three sections.

The first section focuses on special education students and their disabilities; the laws that have serious effects on special education classrooms and instruction; and how to identify children with special needs and how to set up individualized education programs.

“Things that counselors should know and be involved in but aren’t always,” Quigney said.

Secondly, the book delves into strategies for issues such as working with those who work closely with students, including parents, teachers, and community members.

“The second part of the book has a lot of counseling strategies that counselors can use with students with disabilities,” Quigney said.

The third part of the book focuses on current issues of critical importance involving students with disabilities. They include such topics as bullying, cyber-bullying, and graduation rates.

Quigney has more than 30 years experience in special education.

“It’s gratifying that a larger audience may hear what I have to say, as well as Jennine,” Quigney said. “Ultimately, I want to feel I maybe made a difference in how to work with children with disabilities.”