Immigrant Latino Parents’ Experiences and Participation in the Special Education Process

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María I. Bravo-Ruiz
Linda Flynn


This study examined the experiences of first-generation immigrant Latino parents of children with disabilities while navigating the special education system and how those experiences influenced their participation in the special education process. A researcher-created survey was used to collect data. Quantitative data were examined using descriptive and inferential statistics. Additional comments provided by participants were analyzed for patterns and themes. Although half of the participants had emerging English language skills, they communicated and often collaborated with school personnel. Most participants trusted professionals, had a positive perception of school personnel, and disagreed with statements suggesting that teachers knew best about their children’s needs. Participation in the special education process was influenced by the children’s disability and the parents’ knowledge of the American education system, among other factors.

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