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Updated May 22, 2014 - 8:37 am

SARRC improves autism education for Spanish-speaking families

Vintage cars line a property after the Loma fire burned through Loma Chiquita Road near Morgan Hill, Calif., on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016. A heat wave stifling drought-stricken California has worsened a wildfire that burned some buildings and forced people from their homes. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

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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