Training Action Plan

The Voices of Latino Families Raising Children with Special Needs

Author(s)/Developer(s): Hughes, M., Valle-Riestra, D. and Arguelles, M.
Date: 2008
Publisher/Source: Journal of Latinos and Education, 7(3), 241-257
Submitted by: Center for Persons with Disabilities, Utah State University
Type: Training Material

A published article which examined the perceptions of 16 Latino families regarding their views and experiences raising a child with special needs/disability and their involvement in their child's schooling. The study found that Latinos families participating in the study tried to focus on their child with a disability, as they do their other children, yet found they did not share the same level of involvement in the life and schooling of their child with special needs/disability. The families described that their experiences with their child with special needs/disability was more intense and difficult, and required more time vigilance. All families stated they thought about their child's future and most wanted their child to reach of level of independence, acquire basic life skills, and develop social and academic skills. A major theme that surfaced was a desire by parents to have more interaction with school personnel, to assist them to increase their knowledge about their children and how best to assist them. If this resource is used in UCEDD curricula and training activities, strong consideration needs to be given to the cultural and ethnic identities of these families. Latino in and of itself is not adequate to define the great diversity among populations who self-identify as Latino residing in the United States. Latino cannot be viewed as one single cultural group. Numerous cultural factors affect diversity among families in this group including but not limited to English language proficiency, country of origin, recent immigrant, literacy and health literacy either in English of their language of origin, culturally defined beliefs about disability, and socioeconomic status. This article needs to be considered as the unique experiences of 16 families and not representative of Latino families in general.

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