Monday, July 20, 2009

Hispanic Families Form Autism Support Group

KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Lizette Romero stood quietly by her mother's side pulling crayons out of their box to color with.
After pausing a couple of times to stare blankly at different spots on the wall, the 6-year-old continued to focus on the paper, almost making a rainbow if not for the large gaps between the swatches of color.
"My biggest frustration is that she still doesn't talk," said her mother, Magdalena, in Spanish.
Lizette was diagnosed with autism when she was 18 months old and the family was living in Fontana, Calif. Upon hearing of her daughter's diagnosis, Romero said she was lost.
"I had never even heard the word before that day."
"The cultural barrier is incredible," said Terry Buck, a case manager for the Division of Developmental Disabilities in the Tri-Cities.
He has hundreds of clients from various ethnic backgrounds, an estimated 60-80 of which are Hispanic.
Now, the Hispanic Autism Support Group is trying to help these families.

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