In this study the LEARN process-model of cultural competence was applied with three Hispanic immigrant mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Two main arguments were investigated. 1) The influence of cultural beliefs on mothers’ engagement in their children’s education at home. 2) The inclusion of mothers’ cultural beliefs about disability in education plans for their children. This study was contextualized through a review of the literature on cultural competence and traditional cultural beliefs on understanding disability in many Hispanic immigrant families. Results showed that mothers’ parental beliefs about disability influenced how they engaged in their children’s education. Their engagement was evident through life participation as opposed to academic involvement. The three mothers in this study ascribed their children’s disability to cultural beliefs (mal de viento [wind sickness], susto [fright], and mal de ojo [hurtful gaze]). These cultural beliefs influenced how mothers engaged with their children and actively supported interventions for autism. Findings are discussed within frameworks of cultural competence, use of skilled dialogue, and ethnographic methodologies when working with culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) families of children with special needs.
"Understanding parental engagement in Hispanic mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder: Application of a process-model of cultural competence,"
Journal of Multilingual Education Research:
Vol. 6, Article 6.
Available at: http://fordham.bepress.com/jmer/vol6/iss1/6