Themes and Recommendations From One CLD Group: MENASWA Families of Children With Disabilities

Themes and Recommendations From One CLD Group: MENASWA Families of Children With Disabilities

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2069-7.ch008


This chapter weaves together the five major emergent themes presented earlier into a tapestry of imperatives that then guide the reader toward an understanding of, and solutions for addressing the special needs for MENASWA children in American schools. Those five themes—racial identity, resiliency and grit, triple threat, family engagement/involvement, and changes to school structures and policies—are presented in detail. The research related to these themes serves as a reference for school leaders to fully understand and appreciate the challenges facing CLD children and their MENASWA families as they experience life and learning in American schools. Based on that understanding, the chapter presents ways to meet these challenges with positive results, placing those CLD children in a learning environment that allows them to enjoy the same successes as their American counterparts.
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Based on extensive research we have conducted to learn about experiences of families of students with disabilities from a large Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CLD) group; Middle Eastern/North African/Southwest Asian (MENASWA), more than 50 themes were found based on the data and it was determined that these were too extensive for this text. Five major emergent themes were chosen to be discussed in this book that might lead to the crafting of a training program designed to educate teachers and administrators on how they can better support MENASWA families and serve their students with special needs. These themes presented themselves in the research discussed in Chapters 6-9. In order to support the following discussion, Table 8-A in the appendix is provided. Table 8.1 shares the five primary themes that emerged from the research on MENASWA families who had children with disabilities in the United States special education system, as well as the specific issues they experienced, the theoretical frameworks (provided in Chapter 3), and the constructs related from Chapter 2. For ease of access, the appendix of this chapter provides the table for the above mentioned.

Interested in the research behind the themes?

Check out Chapter 6 on Methodology, Chapter 7 on Results, and the specific Constructs.

Table 1.
Emergent Themes
Emergent ThemesSpecific issuesRelated theoretical frameworksRelated Constructs
Issue of Racial IdentityProfiling
Human ecology (Bronfenbrenner)Cross-cultural understanding of disability
Resilience & GritNeed for resilienceHuman EcologyCross-cultural understanding of disability
Triple ThreatMicroaggression
Social Model of Disability (Davis)Cross-cultural understanding of disability
Family/school partnerships
School Cultural Competency
Family Engagement /InvolvementDirect engagement
Insight & awareness
Fighting for services
Family-centered theory (Epstein)Family/school partnerships
Changes to School Structures & PoliciesCo-Teaching
Communication changes
Human ecology (Bronfenbrenner);
Social model of disability (Davis);
Family-centered theory (Epstein)
Family/school partnerships
School Cultural Competency

Key Terms in this Chapter

Ableism: discrimination against individuals with disabilities where they are seen as inferior to the non-disabled.

Microaggressions: subtle acts that put down individuals and are seen as covert expressions of discrimination.

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