Blog: Latino Ed Beat

Program Teaches Latino Parents About Special Education

News stories often report on programs that work to build awareness among Spanish-speaking parents about the importance about college — but what about special education?

Manhattanville College in New York State recently brought together Hispanic parents through its Changing Suburbs Institute to promote awareness of special education issues, The Journal News reports.

“It is very important for me to know my responsibility — for my son,” Migdalia Lopez, who is from Puerto Rico and has a seven-year-old son, told the newspaper. “What are the benefits of the program? What are the goals? How can my son benefit? It is important not only for me, but for my community, for other parents.”

An event was held for parents who attend schools in Westchester County, New York. The newspaper reported that parents were given a bilingual glossary with technical terms such as “least restrictive environment,” “gross-motor coordination” and “alternative dispute resolution.”

According to its web site, the Changing Suburbs Institute focuses on improving education for Latinos in nine school districts. The institute’s mission includes providing professional development to teachers, conducting research, and connecting institutes and groups together to help the Hispanic community.

Some other efforts to education Latinos about autism were highlighted when Autism Speaks recently launched an ad campaign explaining the key warning signs of a child.