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Advocacy for Immigrant Parents of Children with Disabilities

Seo Hee Lee, Ron French, Suzanna Rocco Dillon, Kyungjin Kim

Abstract


Just like non-immigrant parents in the United States, immigrant parents want quality for appropriate special educational services for their child with a disability. However, immigrant parents often have negative experiences working with school professionals who provide special education services. According to Lai and Vadeboncoeur (2013), immigrant parents believe that language and cultural differences impede the establishment of trusting relationships with school staff. However, parental involvement, including that of immigrant parents, is mandated as a part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (2004), as well as essential to a child’s success in school. The purpose of this paper is therefore to provide recommendations for GPE and APE teachers to establish a trusting relationship with immigrant parents of children with disabilities. Recommendations for GPE and APE teachers include: (a) finding effective communication methods, (b) working with classroom teachers and paraprofessionals, (c) providing educational resources, (d) inviting parents to GPE and APE classes, (e) educating parents about PE and their rights, and (f) understanding cultural differences.

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Keywords


adapted physical education; physical education; cultural differences; immigrants

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