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Maria Vasquez

Eleven-year-old Henry Vasquez has Asperger’s Syndrome, which affects his emotions and makes it hard for him to talk. His anxiety and self-harming behaviors prompted Henry’s doctor to order Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy. Henry’s mother, Maria, speaks only Spanish, and requires an interpreter to participate in her son’s hands-on ABA treatment. But TennCare told the family it would only cover interpretation services over the phone. TennCare’s offer was ineffective, and was a violation of the Vasquezes’ rights. ABA therapy without interpretation would be just as illogical as a partial heart surgery. So, Ms. Vasquez contacted TJC, and we filed a TennCare appeal and a Title VI complaint. Soon, Henry received an assessment to determine how many hours of ABA therapy he needed. A Spanish-speaking interpreter was present. Through Maria’s persistence and TJC’s advocacy, Ms. Vasquez can now learn how to perform the ABA therapy that Henry needs.

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