Date of Award
Major Research Paper
Master of Arts (MA)
Early Childhood Studies
This study examines the perceptions of Pakistani immigrant parents regarding the referral of their children to special education programs in Toronto. The study is qualitative and is based on the grounded theory method. Interviews were conducted by the author with five parent participants and were transcribed and coded. This research provided insight into the perceptions of Pakistani immigrant parents whose children (8-12 years) are in special needs classes. Also included in the data is an interview the author conducted with a Pakistani parent who is also working as a special needs assistant in the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). The findings of the study indicate that there are five main reasons behind the referral of Pakistani immigrant children for special education: 1) parent attitudes; 2) cultural and linguistic differences; 3) teacher attitudes; 4) peer attitudes; and 5) immigration. The results indicate that there is an over-referral of Pakistani immigrant children [in Toronto schools] according to Pakistani parents' perceptions. Recommendations are made for implementing change within the special education system in the TDSB and areas for future research are identified.
Amjad, Afshan, "The referral of Pakistani immigrant children for special education in Toronto : perceptions and attitudes of parents" (2009). Theses and dissertations. Paper 550.