• Generational Silence: Impact on the Over-Identification of Alaskan Native Students with Learning Disabilities: A Meta-Synthesis

      Van Flein, Barbara (University of Alaska Southeast, 2017)
      This meta-synthesis investigates the research and literature on the connections between historical trauma and the over-identification of Alaska Native students receiving special education services under the specific learning disability category. Historical trauma is defined. Intergenerational transmission is explained. The silence surrounding trauma and the loss of language fluency is explored and contextualized as a problematic factor in the disproportionate number of Alaska Native students being labeled as having a learning disability. The implications of misidentifying students, as well the life-long impact of receiving a disability label are discussed. Suggestions are reviewed with a focus on the ongoing development and practice of a special education teacher through the lenses of multiculturalism, critical theory and postmodernist thought. Not addressed in this meta-synthesis are issues of identity as they relate to and connect with historical trauma, colonialism and language.