Latino and non-Latino white parents' experiences raising their child with ASD: An exploratory study

Nicole Casillas*, Debra Vigil, Hui Ting Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


There is a dearth of research about the experiences of the Latino population in raising a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This includes a lack of cross-cultural perspectives and perspectives from fathers. Although there are similar experiences in raising a child with ASD among parents, we hypothesize that there will be different experiences due to culture. The current study is an exploratory qualitative research design, where we sought to understand the experiences of Latino and non-Latino White parents who are raising a child with ASD. Results indicated similarities across all families that include: self-efficacy beliefs, challenges, stress and coping, and goals and expectations. Different themes emerged in the Latino families that were not evident in non-Latino White families. Specifically, Latino families emphasized religion and faith, involvement and love, extended family support, Latino pride, and importance of collaboration. Implications are discussed for further cross-cultural family studies, the need to inform healthcare professionals on the early signs of ASD especially with regard to culture, and the importance of collaboration among parents and professionals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6
Pages (from-to)2173-2195
Number of pages23
JournalQualitative Report
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Aug 13


  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Exploratory research
  • Parents
  • Qualitative research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Education


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