The MAC Youth Sub-Committee met on Septemer 20, 2011. Attendees included: Monica Guzman, graduate student OT Dominican; Stacy Frauwirth, OT Faculty, Dominican University; Rocio Smith, Area Board 5; Penny Valentine, Marin SELPA Director; Ingrid Sigarreta, Matrix; and, Karen Kaplan.
Goal of Committee This School Year
To understand the needs of the underserved in our county facing the challenges of Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The committee agreed, the following are the list of identified underserved in Marin County
- Low income
- Children of color
- Financially challenged families
- Emotionally challenged families
- Language barriers
- Foster care children
- At risk children
The Committee further described those at Risk being children who are not obviously identified early, those that are too high functioning and are not qualifying early, those affected by drugs, those where parents lack effective parenting skills.
The underserved are…
- They have cultural barriers
- They have challenges interacting with Health Care agencies
They do not understand disabilities
They are underserved because…
- There is inadequate specialty services
- There is inadequate diagnostic services (the system of Rule Out may be a negative approach)
- They are uninsured and non-insured
- Lack of transportation
- Materials are printed at too high educational levels
- They are isolated (socially and geographically)
- They have cultural barriers that may affect their interaction with health care and acceptance of a disability
- There are language barriers (language and style)
- Their immigration status might be preventing connections (without benefit of papers)
- Funding changes and changes in qualifications for services
- Asperger may go undiagnosed for years
They are found throughout Marin but in a few key pockets, such as…
- Marin City
- Canal and other parts of San Rafael
- West Marin (Nacasio, Inverness)
What do we think they need?
- Access to consistent, affordable and culturally accepting health care
- A need for a Medical Home (coordination)
- Disability information that is meaningful, understood, presented by trusting members of the community and experienced people
- A Plan/road map geared towards their son or daughter specific profile
- Cultural Acceptance and support
- Services that are language and culturally appropriate as well as affordable in their own community
Two questions came up during our discussion of needs
- Who are the service providers who assess and serve in other languages other than English in our county?
- What printed materials and web site are available with information on Autism in other languages? (CDC, TACA, CADDRE, Autism Society, NICHD, NINDS, Autism Speaks)
- Invite others to our committee to help us identify needs
- Invite others to our committee to help us identify projects the committee can engage in this year addressing the underserved
- October 18th, next meet 9 am to 11 am at the Connection Center in San Rafael
- Dominican Graduate Students will be involved in collaborating on identified projects
- Penny Valentine will identify if districts and counties have bi-lingual SLP, OT, PT and educational Psychologists providing evaluations, support to teachers and families.