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Bracing for the Future: Autistic Young Adults in Latino Communities

Bracing for the Future: Autistic Young Adults in Latino Communities

Picture of Norma  Rubio

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that America's fastest-growing developmental disability, autism, is hitting the Hispanic community especially hard. It's now being diagnosed among Latino children at an alarming rate.
 
Children diagnosed with autism long before the disability’s epidemical status are now facing the reality of integrating into society as young adults, looking forward to independence from parental care for the first time. But this poses an even greater challenge for Latino families, many of whom also face limited resources, language barriers and economic challenges.
 
In a recent study published online in Pediatrics, researchers found that more than half of young adults with autism had no job or schooling within two years of graduating high school.  Are America's Hispanic families and communities prepared to help serve this generation?
 
Through a collaborative project for television and the web, Telemundo’s Dunia Elvir and I hope to shed light on the complicated issues facing Latino families who struggle to help transition an autistic child into adulthood. We also intend to explore solutions to those challenges.
 
We are honored to be a part of the 2013 California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowship program.

Image by BLW Photography via Flickr -- http://www.flickr.com/photos/macbeck/4146730230/sizes/m/in/photostream/

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