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Using Qualitative and Quantitative Methods to Conduct Research in Parent Education with Immigrant Families of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Elizabeth Ijalba

Pub. date: 2014 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/978144627305014533926

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In 2010, I commenced research aimed at developing effective methodologies in parent education with Hispanic immigrant families of children with language and communication impairments. I aimed to learn how mothers' perceptions and cultural values influenced their experience in raising a child with autism, and I wanted to determine the effectiveness of teaching mothers how to stimulate language with their children. I explored the mothers' perceptions through phenomenological interviews and thematic analysis. I measured the mothers' effectiveness as language facilitators by observing their interactions with their children and by measuring the children's changes in their communication abilities. The first challenge I describe in this case is that of building a culturally relevant theoretical framework to guide parent-education research. The second challenge described is the design and how to integrate qualitative and quantitative data. Finally, I discuss ethical considerations in the researcher–participant relationship, issues of participation, and conflicts of the researcher as participant.

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