Developing and Testing Strengths-based Interventions for Parents of Children With Disabilities

Concurrent Sessions 9

This session will be live streamed

Kristina Lopez, Sandra Magaña, Wendy Machalicek, Samantha E. Goldman, Judith M. S. Gross; Discussant: Meghan Burke; Facilitator: Anne Farrell

1:45 PM
3:00 PM
Grand Ballroom B
Session #
Session Type
Organized By
Families & Health
Family Policy
About the Session

Made possible with the support of the Family Policy and Families and Health Sections.

  • 329-01 - Parents Taking Action: Supporting Latino Families Raising Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
    By Kristina Lopez, Ph.D., Arizona State Univ.; Sandra Magaña, University of Illinois at Chicago; Wendy Machalicek, University of Oregon
  • 329-02 - The Volunteer Advocacy Project
    By Samantha E. Goldman, Ph.D., Assumption College
  • 329-03 - Family Employment Awareness Training (FEAT)
    By Judith M. S. Gross, Ph.D., Indiana University 

Discussant: Meghan Burke, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign
Facilitator: Anne Farrell, Ph.D., Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago


Although most research focuses on the challenges of raising a child with a disability, increasingly, research has identified the benefits of rearing a child with a disability. To this end, in this symposium, we discuss three interventions which capitalize on the strengths of parents of children with disabilities. First, we describe the Volunteer Advocacy Project wherein parents of children with disabilities advocate, pro bono, for other families of children with disabilities to access needed special education services. Second, we describe Parents Taking Action, a culturally informed psychoeducational program for Latino families raising children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Using a promotora de salud model, Parents Taking Action results in Latina parents helping other families to access evidence-based services for their offspring with ASD. Finally, we describe the Family Employment Awareness Training (FEAT) program wherein families learn about competitive employment options leading to increased expectations for employment. In summary, the policy implications of each model are discussed as well as directions for future research.    

(1) Participants will learn about three interventions for families of children with disabilities
(2) Participants will be able to identify challenges faced by families of children with disabilities
(3) Participants will be able to identify strengths and facilitators of families of children with disabilities
(4) Participants will learn about implications for policy and future research

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