Rapidly becoming the largest ethnic group of American students, compared to White students with disabilities, Latino students with disabilities receive less services and their parents are more likely to struggle to receive services. Yet, it is unclear how Latino families advocate for their children with disabilities including how cultural values facilitate their advocacy efforts. In this study, four focus groups were conducted with 46 Latino parents of children with autism spectrum disorder. Parents reported advocating by being assertive but not aggressive, being involved in school activities, communicating with the school and documenting the communication, and relying on knowledge and faith. Parents also reported facilitators (i.e., knowledge and resources, increased parent-school communication, and greater peer support) and barriers (i.e., poor school experiences, school related-stress, and stigma and discrimination) to advocacy. Implications for research, policy, and practice are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology