Autism Spectrum Disorders and the Somali Community
The Minnesota Department of Health and the Somali community began in a dialogue in 2008 related to concerns expressed by the community about the number of preschool Somali children with a classification of autism in the Minneapolis Public Schools. During this process, a need for more information was identified. Information below includes resources and information on autism for Somali families.
- Baaxadda Cudurrada Autismka (ASD's) (PDF: 128KB/2 pages)
- Parent Education for Somali Americans: Autism. (YouTube: 12 minutes and 31 seconds)
Autism and the Somali Community – MDH Report of Study
Anyone interested in obtaining the full 2009 MDH report may contact us at 651–201–3650.
- Help Me Grow – 6 Months Somali (YouTube: 5 minutes and 38 seconds)
- Minnesota Department of Health Interpreter Roster. MDH has embarked on a two phase process to improve access to health interpreter services. Phase I is the establishment of a voluntary statewide roster of spoken language health care interpreters. Phase II will be the development of certification standards for a registry of certified interpreters.
Minneapolis Autism Prevalence Study.
The Department is providing technical assistance to the University of Minnesota LEND – Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities – program where a study of 7–9 year olds in Minneapolis is under way to estimate ASD prevalence. The study is funded by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, and Autism Speaks and seeks to determine whether there is a higher rate of autism among Somali children compared to non–Somali children. When results are complete, a link will be posted here. Updated January 2013
Qualitative Study of Families of Children with Autism in the Somali Community: Comparing Experiences of Immigrant Groups.
In 2012, the legislature designated $200,000 for a study to shed light on how culture influences impact access to resources that are unique to Somali families. The study will help us understand the barriers to services and the resources that are most important to different cultural communities. In partnership with the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, SoLaHmo (Somali, Latino and Hmong Partnership for Health and Wellness), and the Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota (CSCM) is using a community–based participatory research approach in which Somali, Latino and Hmong community researchers partner with University of Minnesota researchers at every step of the process to design the study, generate the questions that are most important to the community, analyze the data, and interpret the research findings. The 2014 results of this study may guide and inform program planners and policy makers in developing more culturally meaningful or relevant outreach, educational or training programs, and intervention programs for parents and their children. Updated November 2013
Somali American Autism Foundation