Culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) families encounter many challenges when trying to effectively advocate for and be a part of their children’s education. The worldwide COVID-19 pandemic has added additional struggles for many CLD families, including families of children with disabilities. Utilizing a qualitative phenomenological design, this study aimed to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Spanish speaking families of students with special needs. Ten Spanish speaking parents of children with special needs participated in this study. Participants were asked to share their experiences receiving services for their children with disabilities during the first year of the pandemic. Four themes emerged from the interviews: New Learning Opportunities, Educational Impact and Performance, Decline of Socio-Emotional Well-Being, and Impact on Home Stability. Recommendations for practitioners working with students with disabilities who are from CLD backgrounds will be shared. Implications for future practice will also be discussed.

Keywords: Culturally and linguistically diverse families, CLD families, COVID-19 pandemic, special needs, disabilities, Latinx families, Spanish speaking families