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Summaries of Spanish-language projects for IDDRC renewal




Summary 1:

Helping Latinx Children Who Have Autism

Please click this (link) to read a description in Spanish about a pilot study examining a parent-implemented intervention for children with autism from Latinx backgrounds.

Latinx families of children with autism face many challenges accessing high-quality healthcare services for their child. Current best practice is to provide autism services as early as possible, actively involve parents and other caregivers in the child’s intervention services, and to address core symptoms of autism within a culturally and linguistically relevant framework. However, Latinx children with autism tend to be diagnosed at later ages, have limited access to family-centered and culturally relevant intervention services, and make less progress than peers from mainstream backgrounds.

To address these disparities, Drs. Kinard and Watson from the UNC Chapel Hill Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences conducted a pilot study examining an early intervention for Spanish-speaking families of children with autism. The intervention used a parent-coaching model, where a Spanish-speaking interventionist coached parents on strategies that they could use to enhance their child’s social-communication skills. The main modification made to this program from previous versions was to translate materials into Spanish. Three families of young children with autism (2 – 4 years old) participated in the intervention. Parents also completed interviews to explore the intervention’s feasibility and acceptability for their language and culture.

Two out of three children improved social-communication behaviors after participating in the intervention, providing moderate evidence for the intervention’s effectiveness. One child did not demonstrate improvements during the intervention, possibly due to mismatches between the intervention program and the family’s cultural and linguistic background. Despite this finding, all families indicated in their interviews that the intervention program was feasible and acceptable for their culture. Future studies should explore what additional cultural and linguistic adaptations should be made to parent-coaching interventions to enhance their effectiveness for Latinx families, especially for parents who primarily speak Spanish and have limited resources to support their participation in the program. Overall, the results from this study are promising and suggest that parent-coaching interventions provide one possible avenue of reducing disparities for Spanish-speaking families of children with autism.

Summary 2:

Focus on Autism Spectrum Disorder: Training Videos

Please click this link (https://www.med.unc.edu/ahs/pearls/service/en-espanol/ to access "Focus on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)," a series of educational videos for professionals and families of individuals with autism. This work is available for free and was made possible by the Hyatt Rotary Club Public Service Award, UNC Carolina Center for Public Service; Partners of the Americas, Chapters in La Paz, Cochabamba, Utah, North Carolina, and New Mexico; RAFT Altiplano; and Hospital Arco Iris.

These educational videos are divided into three series: (1) assessment and diagnostic procedures; (2) intervention and therapy strategies; and (3) medical considerations for individuals with autism. The videos are intended for a wide audience, including: (1) students in fields related to autism; (2) professionals, such as therapists, psychologists, doctors, and teachers; and (3) family members, including parents or other family members of individuals with autism. This work was created with the country of Bolivia in mind; however, much of the information applies to the international community.

You are welcome to use these videos however is most useful to you, whether that be for supplementary materials for university courses, training events for professionals, or family support groups. You may watch all of the videos or just one video to match your needs and objectives. Feel free to share the link with your colleagues.

Feel free to contact us at formación.en.autismo@unc.edu as you use these videos to tell us how they can be improved or what other areas of support would be helpful.

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