One of the lingering aspects of coloniality in the Americas is paternalism. In Latin America, this power structure plays out among people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) through beliefs that people with disabilities need to be protected and guarded at home, and that they are unable to learn and function in society. We developed a program to empower parents of children with ASD through peer education to help their children realize their potential. This program was implemented in the United States (US) for Latino immigrant families and then adapted for use in Bogotá, Colombia. In this paper, we discuss some of the ways the manifestations of colonialism have influenced the adaptation of this program from North to South. For example, in Colombian society it is not common to use non-professionals or peers to deliver scientific information because within a paternalistic society there is ‘respeto’ (respect) for persons who are older, male and have credentials. Therefore, promoting the use of peer-mothers in this context was a challenge in the adaptation that warranted compromise. We explore and discuss similarities and differences in the adaptation and delivery between North and South and problematize the idea of Latinos in the US versus Colombia.
Disability and the Global South, 2019 Vol.6, No. 1