Narrating self and disability: Latino mothers' construction of identities vis-à-vis their child with special needs
Skinner, D., Bailey, D., Correa, V., & Rodriguez, P. (1999). Narrating self and disability: Latino mothers' construction of identities vis-à-vis their child with special needs. Exceptional Children, 65(4), 481-495.
We examine how 150 Latino mothers of young children with developmental disabilities use narratives to express and create self-understandings vis-à-vis their child. The purpose is twofold: (a) to introduce narrative as a tool that people use to make sense of disability, and (b) to demonstrate how these mothers draw on cultural beliefs and the narrative form to construct meanings of self in relationship to disability. An analysis of spontaneous narratives of self and disability reveal that the majority of mothers portrayed themselves as good mothers in line with larger cultural notions, and viewed their child as bringing about positive transformations in their lives. We end by suggesting ways that narrative analysis could be used in future research and practice.