Anabel V. supports the Hispanic community through her work on the Autism Response Team

September 30, 2021
Autism Speaks Autism Response Team - Anabel V.

Haga clic aquí para ver la versión en español de esta historia.

My name is Anabel V. I am an Autism Response Team Associate for Autism Speaks. 

The Autism Response Team (ART) is an information line for the autism community, but I like to think we are so much more than a phone number! We are 11 specially trained people spread throughout the United States with a dedication to serving others, available in real time. Our shared passion makes us a strong team that people can turn to when they have no idea where to start or how to ask for help.

My colleagues and I come from different backgrounds, including early childhood development, counseling, psychology, education and customer service, as well as the experience of parenting autistic children. Our diversified backgrounds and areas of expertise are what make us more than an information service and allow us to be a part of a family’s journey, including families in the Hispanic community. There are now four bilingual members (including me!) of our well-rounded team who can serve Spanish-speaking constituents.

We can help them find resources and support in their area, as well as ways to connect with their community. We respond to questions via phone: 888-288-4762 (Spanish: 888-772-9050) email: help@autismspeaks.org and chat, found on our web page. It’s hard to explain everything that we can do to help, but here are 10 Ways the Autism Response Team (ART) Can Help.   

Learn more about Anabel and our Autism Response Team in this Q&A:

Q: What are some of the most common questions you hear as member of the Autism Response Team? 

  • Where can I go for an evaluation for my child/self?
  • I am looking for employment options, can you help me? 
  • Can you help me find an advocate for school? 
  • Where can I find healthcare providers who have experience dealing with individuals with autism? (ex: primary care physician, dentist, therapist) 
  • How can I find grants for me and my family? 
  • Can you explain the insurance coverage in my state? 
  • Can you help me find a support group for parents or individuals with autism? 
  • I need help finding transition resources for my child, can you help me? 
  • Can you help me find housing in my area? 
  • I am looking for a residential treatment facility for my loved one, where do I start? 

Q: Why should people in the autism community reach out to ART? 

The autism community should reach out to ART because we are here to help! We are always happy to connect individuals and families with the supports and resources that they need. Even if someone thinks their question or situation may not be something that we can help with, they should still contact us. You never know if we’ll be able to help unless you give us the chance. 

Q: What is the most gratifying part of your job? 

To know that we are helping and making a difference, every day, in someone’s life! 

Q: Given that there are an estimated 41 million native Spanish speakers in the U.S. and 11 million more who are bilingual, for a total of 52 million people, why is it so important for ART to be accessible to the Spanish-speaking community? 

We want to be able to provide the Spanish-speaking population access to the same resources and supports that the English-speaking population has access to.  

Q: Since introducing bilingual and Spanish-speaking team members, how have you seen ART grow in terms of serving an even greater number of people in the community? 

Since April 2021, over 500 Spanish-speaking constituents have contacted ART and our Voices Latinas Facebook group has over 4,000 active members. We would love to expand our service to the Spanish-speaking community and are actively updating and creating new Spanish resources every day. We hope many more constituents reach out to us moving forward!  

Q: What are some of the Spanish resources ART can help people find? 

You can view our Spanish resources here. There, people can find our contact information and the link to join Voces Latinas de Autism Speaks, which is our Spanish speaking Facebook group. We also have several of our awesome Tool Kits translated into Spanish, including: 100 Day Kit for Newly Diagnosed Families, First Concern to Action, PICA: A Guide for Parents, Challenging Behaviors Tool Kit, Advocacy Tool Kit, and Employment Tool Kit

Autism Speaks does not provide medical or legal advice or services. Rather, Autism Speaks provides general information about autism as a service to the community. The information provided on our website is not a recommendation, referral or endorsement of any resource, therapeutic method, or service provider and does not replace the advice of medical, legal or educational professionals. Autism Speaks has not validated and is not responsible for any information, events, or services provided by third parties. The views and opinions expressed in blogs on our website do not necessarily reflect the views of Autism Speaks.

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You can also reach the Autism Response Team by phone or email: 888-288-4762, en Espanol 888-772-7050, or help@autismspeaks.org.