Exploring British Pakistani mothers’ perception of their child with disability: insights from a UK context

Sana Rizvi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


This research lends insight into disabling discourses on South Asian families of children with disabilities. It explores immigrant Pakistani maternal understanding of their children's disability, uniquely through an educational perspective, highlighting maternal roles which schools must acknowledge to improve outcomes for children. The findings of this research, supported by a literature review, highlight various ideological threads shaping maternal understanding of disability and their children's schooling experiences. Data were collected through multiple case studies of immigrant Pakistani mothers of disabled children at Westchester School, incorporating semi-structured interviews and reviewing pupils’ school files. After a process of open coding, the main themes emerging from interviews suggested maternal perceptions of disability evolved from a medicalised lens, onto identifying with structural barriers to children's progress, and a gendered lens. Both maternal perceptions and their professional interactions determined maternal accounts of their children's schooling experiences. This research highlights positive familial factors shaping maternal understanding of disability, supporting further studies into maternal advocacy and empowerment within UK special education.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Research in Special Educational Needs
Early online date25 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015


  • Pakistani immigrant mothers;disability;religion;gender;educational placement


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