Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 48, Issue 5, pp 1623–1639 | Cite as

In Search of Culturally Appropriate Autism Interventions: Perspectives of Latino Caregivers

  • Michaela DuBay
  • Linda R. Watson
  • Wanqing Zhang
Original Paper


Most evidence-based autism spectrum disorder (ASD) interventions are tested with primarily White, mid-upper class, English-speaking populations, despite the increase in Latino children with ASD in early intervention programs throughout the United States. Unfortunately, interventions that are incongruent with a target population’s culture may be relatively ineffective. This mixed-methods study explored how culturally appropriate, feasible, and acceptable Latino caregivers perceived intervention models, strategies, and targets. Survey data were compared for 28 Latino and 27 non-Latino White parents of young children with ASD. Further, 20 Latino caregivers participated in focus groups to describe their challenges, perspectives and preferences for intervention strategies and models, and unmet needs from providers. These findings underscore the need for culturally modified interventions for Latino children and families.


Latino Parent perspectives Cultural adaptation Evidence-based practices 



This project was funded by the Carolina Center for Public Service through a Community Engagement Fellowship. The Autism Research Registry, which assisted in recruitment, is supported by a grant from The National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (P30-HD003110) to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. We would like to thank each family who participated in this study as well as the research assistants for their hard and tedious work. We would also like to thank our co-facilitator, Diana Wilkenson for her work and dedication to this project. This project was presented in a poster at the International Meeting for Autism Research, 2017.

Author Contributions

MD contributed to the conception and design of the study, completed data collection, analyzed and interpreted the data, and drafted the manuscript; LRW contributed to the conception and design of the study, assisted with the interpretation of results, and critically revised the manuscript; WZ contributed to the analysis of results and critically revised the manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Ethical Standards

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Supplementary material

10803_2017_3394_MOESM1_ESM.docx (29 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 28 KB)
10803_2017_3394_MOESM2_ESM.docx (21 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 21 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Allied Health SciencesUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel HillChapel HillUSA

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