CAREGIVER EXPERIENCES RAISING, ENGAGING, AND INVOLVING CHILDREN WITH INVISIBLE DISABILITIES
Keywords:Invisible Disabilities, Parental Involvement, Collaborative Evaluation
The experiences of caregivers navigating through the K-12 school system as their children with invisible disabilities move toward high school graduation are multifaceted. A qualitative study examined the experiences caregivers were having or not having at Central High School (CHS), a traditional high school within the Public School (PS) district, located in a mid-western city in the United States. Questions posed revealed the encounters of caregivers rearing their children with invisible disabilities. Conceptually, the study was guided by the ecologies of parental engagement (EPE) framework. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews, member checking, a follow-up interview, and document analysis to provide thorough descriptions of the caregiver’ experiences. Four participants were selected for the study based on the following criteria: their children were currently enrolled at CHS, in the 11th or 12th grade, and had been diagnosed with an invisible disability. A line-by-line analysis of participants’ responses uncovered common themes. The results of this study contribute to the implementation of progressive changes by providing information to parents and school staff on how to collaborate more effectively with each other for the advancement of children with invisible disabilities.
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