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Children With Disabilities, Families, and Public Institutions

Parenting a child with a disability in the United States situates parents in complex interactions with medical and educational institutions. These interactions have created demands and expectations on parents that are significantly distinct from those of previous historical periods for at least three main reasons. First, as societies have become more child centered, the role of federal and state agencies in protecting children's rights and welfare has increased. Accordingly, public institutions have increasingly sought to regulate the roles and responsibilities of parents, schools, and social welfare agencies. Second, the rapid change in information technologies has facilitated caretakers' access to technical knowledge and to varied accounts about children's care and education, knowledge that was previously held only by professionals. Thus, this access to information has created ...

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