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Autism and the Hispanic Community

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Presentation on theme: "Autism and the Hispanic Community"— Presentation transcript:

1 Autism and the Hispanic Community
Mariela Maldonado- Bilingual parent Advocate- Autism Society of NC

2 What is autism spectrum disorder?
A neurobiological disorder of development that causes differences in the way information is processed. This difference affects the ability to: Understand and use language to communicate Understand and relate to people, events and objects Understand and respond to sensory stimuli Learn and think in the same way as typically developing children

3 What causes autism spectrum disorder?
Metabolic imbalances Genetic/chromosomal factors Viral infections Shoot immunization

4 How many people have autism spectrum disorder?
The current definition predicts that Every day at least 2 children got the diagnosis of autism 1 individual in every 91 develop autism spectrum disorder. It means the around 100,000 families are affected by autism in NC. In base census , Hispanic families represent 7% of population

5 Four Primary Areas of Difference
Communication Social Interactions Behavior and Sensory Responses Thinking and Learning

6 Communication/Language
May have little or no speech; but may be quite verbal Flat or limited facial expressions Limited use of gestures Fails to imitate actions or sounds Repeats words or phrases Uses unusual vocal intonation/rhythm Understands and uses language literally Asks repetitive questions

7 Social Interactions May be unresponsive Seems content when left alone
Seeks social contact in unusual ways Difficulty with turn-taking and other “play” Difficulty reading social cues Difficulty with joint attention Difficulty with facial recognition Difficulty taking the perspective of another

8 Behavior/Sensory Relating to the environment: Play is repetitive
Upset by or resists changes; transitions difficult Develops rigid routines Drifts aimlessly about Exhibits strong and inflexible interests Exhibits narrow/odd interests

9 Behavior/Sensory (cont.)
Responses to sensory stimuli: Sometimes seems deaf Oversensitive to some sounds, sights, tastes and odors; difficulty with modulating input Attracted to certain textures, patterns, odors Exhibits unusual motor movements Exhibits unusual response to pain

10 Thinking and Learning Uneven pattern of skill development
Learns skills out of normal sequence Focus on details – miss connections and relationships Relevant vs. irrelevant Concrete thinking; abstract concepts difficult Organization and sequencing problems

11 Thinking and Learning (cont.)
Difficulty solving problems or generating new or alternative solutions to situations Decreased ability to scan environment and identify important elements Chunks of information that occur close together in time are quickly associated Concept of time is impaired Language is understood and used literally

12 Learning Strengths Take in chunks of information quickly
Remember information for a long time Use visual information meaningfully Learn long routines and have motivation to repeat familiar routines Understand and use concrete rules Concentrate on topics of specific interests

13 What kind of support is helpful?
Highly structured, individualized approach Use of schedules Use of visual cues in the environment Alternative communication methods Special education at school Speech, occupation, sensory development therapies

14 Hispanic families and Autism
Our Bilingual Advocacy department has identified some specific needs within the Hispanic community. One of the most crucial issues is the need to train Hispanic parents about autism spectrum disorder and to teach them how they can help their children Autism

15 Some barriers Language barriers: No written material in their own native language, no interpreters available, not understand English. Isolation for cultural issues .- Some Hispanic families feel embarrassed to have a child with autism and keep them at home out of the community. This embarrassed came from lack of knowledge about autism and because the do not have access about the resources in the community . Other Hispanic parents do not understand how works the system of medical and school appointment in base of their experience back in their countries where in some cases some illness or medical problems are fixed by herbs or house treatment.

16 Some barriers- continuation…….
No knowledge about Autism- Some families do not understand features and treatment about autism and do not know how to advocate their own child. Isolation for living in rural areas where there is not public transportation, not access for resources Isolation for lack o transportation: Some Hispanic families do not have an own car, do not have license driver, do not know how to drive. Other only drive short distance for fear that immigration offices might caught them without legal documentation.

17 Some barriers- continuation……..
Not income to pay child care or pay somebody for transportation in order to attend meetings .. No child care available that will take children with autism in the area.

18 How we can help Increment your knowledge about autism
Refer families to ASNC-Autism Society of NC is the best resources in North America Participate in the Autism Awareness Campaign Invite ASNC to provide presentation about autism in your organization Participate in the workshop and conference about Autism that ASNC provide for parents, professionals and the community Help Hispanic families to understand how works the system ( medical appointments, waiting list, etc, etc)

19 How Hispanic families can help their children
Increment knowledge about autism Participate in the workshops and trainnign for parents Participate in the Hispanic Support group Build a good relationship with teacher, therapist, medical staff, staff’ Keep records and bring their children for evaluation and treatments


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