Practical Access Podcast

S3 E11: Bilingual families with Mayra Camacho, Ph.D., BCBA-D

November 06, 2020 Photo by Julie Molliver on Unsplash
Practical Access Podcast
S3 E11: Bilingual families with Mayra Camacho, Ph.D., BCBA-D
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Practical Access Podcast
S3 E11: Bilingual families with Mayra Camacho, Ph.D., BCBA-D
Nov 06, 2020
Photo by Julie Molliver on Unsplash

In today’s episode, Drs. Lisa Dieker and Rebecca Hines talk with expertise in bilingual families with special needs, Mayra Camacho, Ph.D., BCBA-D. Tune in as she provides tips on how parents can become more involved in their children's Individualized Education Plans (IEP). 

Show Notes Transcript

In today’s episode, Drs. Lisa Dieker and Rebecca Hines talk with expertise in bilingual families with special needs, Mayra Camacho, Ph.D., BCBA-D. Tune in as she provides tips on how parents can become more involved in their children's Individualized Education Plans (IEP). 

Lisa Dieker:

Welcome to practical access. I'm Lisa Dieker.

Rebecca Hines:

And I'm Rebecca Hines. And Lisa, I can't wait to hear who we're talking to today. Well, we

Lisa Dieker:

have a guess what a friend and a colleague seems to be our theme on our podcast. So we always start with that as a lap, but also a really, really special friend and colleague who knows something that I think the field is so anxious to hear about. And that is really an expertise in bilingual families with special needs. And so Mayra Camacho is with us today, who has worked for the

Mayra Camacho:

Thank you for having me.

Lisa Dieker:

So I'll start with the first question. I would love to just know, as a monolingual person myself, you know, I always say that with embarrassment because I do realize were such a mixed culture and I so value what someone like yourselves brings to my expertise in what I know about families, but I can't communicate, what would be your like go to tip for the IEP meeting to be more, I

Mayra Camacho:

think starting with having the interpreter in the meeting is very helpful. But I think that is just a small part of what is really important to these families. In my experience, I feel that the cultural aspect is a lot of a bigger challenge. Because it's almost like when we think about a diagnosis of autism, for example, we cannot assume that everyone who has a diagnosis of autism

Lisa Dieker:

So you know, I love that, you know, culture background understanding, because you're right, just because someone speaks language A, B, or C doesn't mean they're from the same city, the same culture. I mean, if you think of the United States, you know, it's a little different than it is in California than it is in Long Island than it is in Chicago, you know, and again, that's, that's

Mayra Camacho:

I think that continuous communication is very important. And I'm not talking just about, you know, sending an email or having the parent go into one of these new apps to kind of check on messages from the teacher. Because a lot of the times technology is not yet something that these families are very comfortable with. And again, I'm not trying to generalize, but it does, you know, have noticed that this has helped decrease the duration of these tantrums, and then they can start kind of teaching those techniques that can then be hopefully carried into the home, now the parent has the stress, and is more likely to bring these strategies into the home rather than maybe strategies that they have been using, because that's what they learned either from their parents or from you're coming from. And then let's see if there's other ways in which we can kind of have this worked out.

Rebecca Hines:

So, you know, you mentioned the word trust several times there and, and relationships and that's actually what I was going to ask you about this morning, because I'm going to ask you for some some off the cuff behind the scenes info. So I'm just really curious. When you when you go to like let's just say a IEP meeting or any kind of meeting with teachers, you know, with parents,

Mayra Camacho:

right. So I find myself at time feeding a lot of like, you know, this is what you need to say, kind of thing in Spanish, in Spanish, because I still struggle, because they, a lot of the, at least the families that I have worked with, and going to IEP meetings with, um, are very timid about questioning, you know, what the school is presenting as their option. And sometimes there's I'm, like, telling him all his benefits. Like, you know, this person is not supposed to be putting his hand on your kid, you know, you know that right? Like, you know, so I like talking like, okay, so she's saying that why is first. Because that was the one translating Why is this person putting her hands on her kid, like, She's not even part of the classroom So like, I'm trying to, you know, kind of, like, feed her information at the same time kind of just advocating for her in that way. But But this happens a lot, because they, they tend to just kind of go with, you know, what, what is given

Lisa Dieker:

There, Myra, as you say that I was actually on an IEP the other day too, and it happened to be all English because again, I shamefully, monolingual because I just didn't even have a foreign language class in high school, which is interesting. But

Rebecca Hines:

forgive yourself, Lisa.

Lisa Dieker:

It really does bother me. But you know, and again, I guess I could do something about that. But just say age and language development don't actually. But but it's funny, because I was doing the same thing in a back channel, we were texting each other. So I do want to remind families when you're in a meeting, and you need help, don't be shy, because immediately it was like, well,

Mayra Camacho:

that's my last question. Right. So, I mean, again, my dissertation has to do with parent involvement. And I really strongly feel that this is the the first thing that as teachers we need to do is to make sure that we are providing the support so that the family can be as involved as possible with the progress that this child can make. Because we have them for a couple of hours, having them until high school and then but then because I also work with adults isn't like oh my goodness, what happened here, like what wasn't there someone who could have you know, so so that's, that's sometimes sad to see. So we just need to make sure that they have as many tools as possible. So one, they don't have the school support anymore than they know how to navigate.

Rebecca Hines:

So my right, I think those are all great, specific tips. And I want to kind of lean into that parent involvement piece one last time in our discussion. So there's a difference between being, you know, an interpreter who's who's representing somebody, you know, more formally, and then being, you know, an advocate, as Lisa said, literally, we look, she would, she would ask me to go

Mayra Camacho:

Yes, and you're absolutely right. In regards to the translating part, I've been at meetings where we have someone translating, I mean, it just becomes, you know, so dry, the information that they're trying to dress like sometimes he doesn't even make sense where I'm just like, none, and just kind of just take over and do the translation, because he's just really not making sense of there's support systems in churches, support systems at the universities within your community, and not necessarily has to be specific to your child's disability, it could be at a start up parent group, it could be a spouse type of support system, you know, I mean, there are so many different challenges that as a family, you can be going through. So you can always try to find more specifics,

Rebecca Hines:

And I think I think for those for those teachers or families who aren't in the Central Florida area, I think, I think that a quick Facebook or Google search, you could find something that's either national that might be able to remotely advise families, or hopefully something local in your neighborhood. So thank you Mayra for that night, I do want to encourage teachers to, if you

Mayra Camacho:

Thank you guys, this was a lot of fun.

Lisa Dieker:

Thank you so much. My right and if you have questions for us, please send them on Facebook or send us a Tweet @accesspractical, and our Facebook page is practical access. We look fo ward to folks listening to your podcast, Myra and thanks for your words of wisdom and all your advocacy for families. Thanks for joining us.

Mayra Camacho:

Thank you