Research Article  |   September 2015
Caregiving Experiences of Latino Families With Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Author Affiliations
  • Erna Imperatore Blanche, PhD, OTR/L, is Associate Professor of Clinical Practice, Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
  • Jesus Diaz, OTD, OTR/L, is Research Assistant Professor, Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles; jesusdia@usc.edu
  • Tanya Barretto, OTD, OTR/L, is Graduate Student, Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Southern California, Los Angeles
  • Sharon A. Cermak, EdD, OTR/L, is Professor, Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles, and Professor of Pediatrics, USC Keck School of Medicine
Article Information
Autism/Autism Spectrum Disorder / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Special Issue on Autism: Research Articles
Research Article   |   September 2015
Caregiving Experiences of Latino Families With Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September 2015, Vol. 69, 6905185010p1-6905185010p11. doi:10.5014/ajot.2015.017848
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, September 2015, Vol. 69, 6905185010p1-6905185010p11. doi:10.5014/ajot.2015.017848
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. Prior research has documented caregiving difficulties in families of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, Latino families may encounter unique challenges. The purpose of this study was to understand the caregiving experiences of Latino families with children with ASD, including daily activities, coping strategies, and service utilization.

METHOD. Fifteen Latino parents of children with ASD were interviewed. The interviews were transcribed for analysis to identify themes of experiences unique to this population.

RESULTS. Latino families of children with ASD encounter many similar issues as non-Latino families but also unique issues that affect service utilization. Four themes were identified: dealing with the diagnosis, dealing with stigma and isolation from family and community, understanding the role of mothers in changing family routines, and utilizing services.

CONCLUSION. To meet the unique needs of Latino families, services need to be provided in culturally sensitive context that address children’s needs within family units.