Mental health advocacy often encompasses the special needs community, often information can be used in a purposeful way to generate change in policies and promote rights and psychological needs of individuals with intellectual disabilities. These changes help to establish attainable access to social and community supports for families and their children with ID. “In certain South and Central American countries (e.g., Mexico, Paraguay, and Peru), many children with ID are still institutionalized with inadequate sanitation and medical care, thus violating their human rights and limiting their access to family and community supports”. “Research indicates that social and community supports in the form of family-centered services ameliorate the negative effects of caring for a child with a developmental delay or intellectual disabilities (ID) and more importantly enhance child and family outcomes” (Cohen, 2013, p. 71).
Effective advocacy gives individuals the power to influence lawmakers to improve government policies about mental health and special education. “In the United States, the structure of the special education service system requires parents to advocate for their children in order to receive critical interventions to optimize child outcomes”. (Cohen, 2013, p. 71) Advocating for one’s child might be particularly challenging for families who lack the social and economic resources necessary to be an effective advocate. Some Latino families, particularly immigrants, are at a distinct disadvantage in advocating for their children with special needs given the existence of barriers such as language, poverty, and discrimination and the families’ lack of familiarity with the special education, and social serv...
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Child rearing also has an engrained cultural influence. Mothers are soothing to their children where as an outsider may think its overboard behavior. They are also attentive, pampering and nurturing; It is their primary appointment. Often this can delay milestones as culturally Latinos are taught not to make a public scene, thus whisked away before a tantrum or squabble can escalate, these children may be absent of the interaction children need at a young age to discover peer interactions and social development. Latino parents who adhere to different notions of child development may have different expectations about the skills they want their child to learn from service providers. (Hurley, Warren, Habalow, Weber, & Tousignant, 2014) Targeted advocacy efforts must consider the families concerns with the developmental domains that are important to them.
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