Due to the rapid increase of the Latino population in the United States, schools and workplaces are seeing greater numbers of Latino individuals requiring accommodations for learning disorders (LD). Federal laws that ensure that such individuals get appropriate accommodations have stringent requirements to determine eligibility. Psychologists who are called upon to conduct assessments for LD often do not have adequate awareness of the issues involved in LD assessments with Latinos. This project was focused on exploring steps that psychologists can take in order to conduct culturally competent LD assessment with Latinos.
Literature was reviewed to ascertain Latino values that come into play and impact the results of assessment as it is generally practiced. It is widely acknowledged that Latinos underutilize mental health services for a variety of reasons. Remedies to this problem were examined as the first step to render culturally competent services. Further, psychotherapists working with Latinos have adapted therapy practices to better suit Latino needs. These adaptations were reviewed to determine applicability to the assessment situation. All these factors were then integrated to form a model of learning disorder assessment with Latino adolescents and adults. The model addresses a number of issues to be addressed at every step of the assessment process, with implications for more culturally competent assessment services.
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