The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type

Starred Paper

Degree Name

Special Education: M.S.


Special Education


School of Education

First Advisor

Janet Salk

Second Advisor

MaryBeth Noll

Third Advisor

Plamen Miltenoff

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

immigrant parents perceptions on special education, disability, special education process, culture-based concepts of disability, special education disparity, cultural diversity


The purpose of this paper was to review the literature investigating the attitudes and perceptions of immigrant parents toward disability and special education services. The nine studies in this chapter examine cultural perceptions of disability, limitations caused by disability, the grieving process for the family of a child with a diagnosis, parental hopes and wishes for their child with a disability, the diagnostic process, the special education process, and communication/language barriers. Studies are presented in ascending chronological order. Perspectives of immigrant parents from various cultures are examined. Studies are organized by the country of origin and include parents from Mexican, Korean- American, Korean, Arab-American, Hmong, West Indian, Haitian, South Asian Muslim, and Somali cultures.


I would like to express deep gratitude to MaryBeth Noll and Janet Salk for their inspiring leadership and the encouragement I needed to take the opportunity to address this topic that is near and dear to my heart. I also appreciate my aunty Hyline M. who is my pillar. Gratitude to my famiy and friends who supported me through my studies with words of encouragement and unending support.



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