Skip to main content


“Delicate Threads”-friendships between children with and without special needs in inclusive settings.
By: Debbie Staub, Ph.D.

Delicate Threads offers a rare look at friendships between children with and without special needs. The author explores how the relationships between typical peers, and what happens to them over time. Much has been researched and written about the nature of typical childhood friendships, but until now there's been little about the meaning and value of relationships among children with and without disabilities.

For three years, the author observed seven pairs of friends--each including a child with a developmental disability--at an inclusive elementary school in the Pacific Northwest. Her careful observations and interviews with the children, their teachers and parents, provide new information about the importance of these friendships and the benefits of inclusion.

  • Lafayette sign
    Lafayette sign
  • photo
  • Madison and dad