Special education experiences and stress among Latina mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD)

Kristina Rios, Janeth Aleman-Tovar, Meghan M. Burke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Parent involvement is an essential component of the special education process for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, many parents face barriers to participation in the special education process. Latino parents especially face systemic barriers. Additionally, Latino (versus White) parents of children with ASD experience worse well-being. If special education experiences contribute to poor well-being among Latino parents of children with ASD, there could be widespread public health and education implications. Yet, little research has explored the intersection between special education experiences and well-being among Latina mothers of children with ASD. The purpose of this study was to explore maternal perceptions of stress in relation to individualized education program (IEP) meetings, special education knowledge, and family-professional partnerships. Individual interviews were conducted with 16 Latina mothers of children with ASD. Participants reported stress before, during, and after IEP meetings. There was a pattern between high stress and limited special education knowledge; however, there was no pattern with respect to the quality of the family-professional partnership and stress. Implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101534
JournalResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Volume73
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2020

Keywords

  • ASD
  • IEP
  • Latina mothers
  • Maternal stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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