September 15, 2022, marked the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month and underscores an anniversary of independence for many Latin American countries, such as Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. It is also a significant day in history for Hispanic Americans, which also makes it a fitting day to begin a month of celebration. Established in 1968, Hispanic Heritage Month continues to be a time dedicated to celebrating Hispanic culture and paying tribute to Hispanic Americans who have made an impact in our society.
As the aim for this month is to honor Hispanic communities, SARRC's DEI Committee would like to honor the Hispanic population within our own autism community.
Approximately 11 out of 1,000 Hispanic children are diagnosed with ASD. This likelihood is lower than that of non-Hispanic white children, as approximately 16 out of 1,000 non-Hispanic white children are diagnosed with ASD (Ijalba 2016). While the likelihood is only slightly lowered within Hispanic populations, studies suggest that Hispanic communities exhibit a lower level of fluency in navigating and understanding autism.
This includes, but is not limited to, a lack of understanding of the etiology and the course of the disorder, a lack of awareness about autism-influenced social isolation, and a reluctance to teach Spanish to Hispanic children with autism due to fear of complicating their language development (Ijalba 2016, Voelkel et al 2013).
These findings suggest a pressing need for prevalent and accessible Spanish autism educational resources. By incorporating the Spanish language into existing resources, such as healthcare facilities and various online resources, the Hispanic community will receive the equity they need in order to gain the knowledge they need to support people with autism within their community.
ADAPT INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
Do you know someone who might be interested in supporting and expanding access to the Spanish-speaking community? SARRC is excited to offer the Advancing Diversity In Autism Professional Training (ADAPT) internship: a dynamic paid internship opportunity offering hands-on, real-life experiences while exploring a variety of career opportunities. In partnership with Chicanos Por La Causa, the ADAPT Internship at SARRC is an educational opportunity for high school students and young adults who are bilingual in Spanish and English to explore a variety of professions within the fields of autism research and services. Learn more »
Recursos en SARRC:
Learn about some of the resources SARRC offers to Spanish-speaking families online here. Feel free to share these resources with others you know who may need them in order to build a more equitable start in navigating and understanding autism.
Para más información en Español, por favor contacte al equipo de admisión de SARRC al 480.887.0784 o puede solicitar servicios aquí »
Recursos en español:
For resources to learn more about the Hispanic community and autism, refer to our works cited below:
- Ijalba. (2016). Hispanic Immigrant Mothers of Young Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders: How Do They Understand and Cope With Autism? American Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 25(2), 200–213. doi-org.ezproxy.lib.uwf.edu/10.1044/2015_AJSLP-13-0017
- Voelkel, LeCroy, C. W., Williams, L. R., & Holschuh, J. (2013). The full spectrum: Hispanic understanding of autism. Best Practices in Mental Health, 9(1), 31–46.