Empowering Latina Mothers of Children with ASD Webinar Archive Available
In concert with April as Autism Awareness and Acceptance month, the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) hosted a webinar entitled “Parents Taking Action: Empowering Latina Mothers of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).” Latinos represent the fastest growing population in the US, and Latino children are one of the fastest growing ASD populations. Despite this growth, they are one of the most underserved groups with respect to diagnostic services, health care, and specialty autism services. “There are huge gaps in identifying and supporting Latino children with ASD leading to serious and significant long-term health disparities. I’m thrilled that we were able to share with the network one promising community-based model for addressing those gaps by empowering their family members,” said Cathy Pratt, chair of AUCD’s Autism Special Interest Group.
Dr. Sandy Magaña, professor in Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is a national leader in the investigation of racial and ethnic disparities among children with autism and developmental disabilities and among their family caregivers.
Over 200 people from around the country joined the webinar where Dr. Magaña discussed the adaptation of the Promotora de Salud (community health worker) model, a culturally-based approach to addressing informational needs of Latino parents, to educating Latina mothers of children diagnosed with ASD. “We find the promotoras are exceptionally good at promoting self-efficacy in parents,” said Dr. Magaña, “which leads to parents advocating for better services and utilizing evidence-based interventions to improve their child’s outcomes.” A randomized controlled trial is currently underway to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed model, and preliminary findings that show a significant improvement in confidence and utilization of evidence based strategies were presented on the webinar.
The event was planned and sponsored by AUCD’s Special Interest Groups on Autism and Family Support and AUCD’s Multicultural Council, and hosted by AUCD on April 21, 2016.
English and Spanish transcripts of the webinar content including the webinar recording are now available on the event page.