Café con Tanya welcomes Spanishspeaking parents of children with special needs

first_imgHaving a child diagnosed with a developmental disability such as autism or Down syndrome can be scary for any parent. But if you primarily speak a language other than English, that creates a whole new set of challenges.“A lot of things get lost in translation, and that’s a big obstacle,” said Tanya English, who’s been the part-time Hispanic outreach coordinator at Vancouver-based PEACE, or Parents Empowered and Communities Enhanced, since October. The outreach program was started by Maria Rangel, who now does bilingual outreach for the Northwest Down Syndrome Association in Portland.English provides one-on-one support to Spanish-speaking families who are trying to navigate Individual Education Programs and the Developmental Disabilities and Social Security administrations. It’s common for PEACE to hire interpreters for their larger group trainings, said Executive Director Darla Helt; Spanish is the most requested language. English recently began offering a more intimate education and support group for Spanish speakers, where they can talk about whatever is on their minds. English, who also works as a paraeducator at a blended preschool, heard coordinators around the state were hosting coffee gatherings. “Culturally, when you come in and you invite someone to your home, you offer them something. You offer them coffee, you offer them bread, you offer them whatever that you have,” she said.last_img read more

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