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Updated May 22, 2014 - 8:37 am

SARRC improves autism education for Spanish-speaking families

Jen Thurman, owner of the record store Retro Daddio poses for a photo at her store in Williamsburg, Va. Thursday July 28, 2016. Thurman says John Hinckley comes in about once a month and always buys something, whether it's a book about The Who or a 45 rpm record. Life for the man who tried to assassinate President Ronald Reagan 35 years ago has progressively become more normal as he prepares to permanently live with his mother. (AP Photo/Ben Finley)

PHOENIX — After looking at data over the last few years, researchers at the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center (SARRC) noticed that Spanish-speaking families weren’t doing as well.

“They were performing significantly worse than our English speaking parents, and also their children weren’t showing as much in responsivity to the treatments,” said SARRC’s Dr. Nicole Matthews.

As part of their Hispanic Outreach Program, SARRC started hiring more bilingual clinicians so they could offer a Spanish program that more closely approximates the English program, Matthews said.

“Now in our second Jump Start Program for Spanish speaking families, with these improvements we’ve made, they [Spanish language parents] are no longer performing significantly different from our English parents,” she said.

The Jump Start Program is an education program for parents who have recently received an autism diagnosis.

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