DevSci Colloquium: "PROMISE for Asian Autistic Children and Families"
Wednesday, December 6, 2023
1107 Benjamin Building
Speaker: Veronica Kang (University of Maryland, College Park)
Title: "PROMISE for Asian Autistic Children and Families: Program for Meaningful Interaction and Social Engagement"
Abstract: Autism is a developmental disorder that affects one in 36 individuals. Among autistic individuals, those who come from immigrant backgrounds experience additional cultural, societal, systemic, and linguistic barriers leading to lack of social support and access to services. While school-based support is available during the academic year, there is no opportunity for Asian American Autistic (AAA) youth to socialize and build relationships with peers during the summer, resulting in greater levels of isolation, challenging behaviors, and parental burden and stress. PROMISE aims to facilitate (1) an inclusive social support community for AAA youth and their parents, and (2) awareness of autism/disability and growth of future autism workforce via community-based learning for UMD students. In 2023, PROMISE was piloted with 9 UMD students, 19 AAA families, and the Chinese Cultural & Community Service Center (CCACC). The development and conceptualization of the program and preliminary findings on AAA youth's social skills (emotion regulation, interpersonal, conversation, friendship, sportsmanship) and parents' perspectives on the social validity (feasibility and acceptability) of the program will be presented.