Linking Latino Parents to Autism Resources (IL UCEDD/LEND)

December 12, 2016

For parents who have a child with autism, navigating the service system to find ways to help their child can be overwhelming.

Within the Latino community, promotoras - community health workers who are indigenous to the community - help educate parents on autism and appropriate services.

Two UIC researchers are going global by expanding a parent educational intervention designed for Latino parents in the U.S. to Colombia.

"There are disparities between Latino and white children in terms of access to services and treatments," said Sandra Magaña, professor of disability and human development. "We want to bridge those disparities and use the community health worker to deliver the intervention and empower the parents."

Magaña is collaborating with Marie Tejero Hughes, professor of special education, on the study, which examines the role of the promotora in the field of disability interventions. The study received a 2015 UIC Global Health and Wellbeing Seed Grant from the Center for Global Health.

The intervention, called Parents Take Action, helps parents understand what autism is - a developmental disability that is characterized by difficulties in communication, social interaction and repetitive behaviors - and how it affects their child's development.

Read full article at UIC News Center