Navigating School Interactions: Parents of Students with Intellectual Disabilities Speak Out

Sheila Bennett, Jacqueline Specht, Monique Somma, Rebecca White

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose of Review: Our attraction to the verbiage of partnership casts a misleading conjecture that schools and parents are a collaborative unit with a single purpose. For too many parents, especially for those whose children present “problems” for schools, the relationship can be fraught with disillusionment and frustration. The purpose of this work is to highlight and contextualize the complex experiences of parents of children with intellectual disabilities as they navigate their child’s schooling. Recent Findings: Through the presentation of research findings and project data, we explore the nature of the school parent relationships within the context of inclusive practice in schools. Summary: Presented using data collected from 33 parent interviews, this work presents a summary of the struggles and successes of parent engagement within a system that vacillates between innovation and stagnation, between hypocrisy and integrity and between one version of school and another.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-154
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Developmental Disorders Reports
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Inclusion
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Parents
  • Special education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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