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In the context of schooling, many parents of disabled children move from a sense of isolation, joining with like-minded others, becoming persistent advocates for their children's pedagogical and social needs. This chapter shows how labeling is bureaucratically produced and how advocates are made, not born. Educational supports are not available without a bureaucratic label that may have lifelong stigmatizing consequences; the authors call this the paradox of recognition. They witnessed parents mastering the tasks necessary for managing special education, becoming their child's advocate, enforcing their legal rights, and protecting them against the bullying this recognition too often entails. Parents' hard-won disability expertise and activism impressed the authors as moxie, a feisty willingness to insist on their children's rights and capacities. Without their lively insistence on their children's potential—deploying what the authors call moxie—this story of the paradox of recognition rarely ends well.

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