Dust From the Moon: Special Education Leadership Journeys of Six Latino Immigrant Parents




Takemoto, Cheryl Rei

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This study draws from general parent involvement research and subtopics in the areas of parent advocacy in special education, parent leadership in both regular and special education, and models of parent involvement. Much of the existing research is concerned with understanding the problem and importance of Latino parent involvement in education and special education. To date, research has not yet significantly explored the positive contributions of immigrant Latino parent leaders and how these parents have become leaders, particularly in areas related to special education. The purpose of this qualitative study was to understand the lived experiences of Latino immigrant parents of students with disabilities who are special education advocacy leaders in their communities and the meaning they made from their experiences. Through this narrative inquiry, I hoped to understand how Latino parents rise to leadership positions and support others on their own journeys as special education advocates for their children with disabilities. The findings of the study include obstacles to Latino parent engagement from the perspectives of these six leaders; what spurred them to become advocates and leaders; who helped them; and how they overcame the conflicts they encountered. The leaders also shared their insights into the meaning and purpose of their leadership journeys. The study concludes with a proposed model for fostering parent leadership.



Special education, Individual & family studies, Latin American studies, Hispanic, Latino, Leadership, Parent, Parent Involvement, Special Education