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.
University of Minnesota Minneapolis Somali Autism Spectrum Disorder Prevalence Project
"The University of Minnesota estimates autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in Somali and non-Somali children in Minneapolis."
Largest project to date looks at the number and characteristics of Somali children with ASD in any U.S. community.
This report presents new data released in December 2013 by the University of Minnesota. Somali and White children were about equally likely to be identified with ASD in Minneapolis. There is no statistically meaningful difference between the two estimates. Somali and White children were more likely to be identified with ASD than non–Somali Black and Hispanic children. For more information go to University of Minnesota Minneapolis Somali Autism Spectrum Disorder Prevalence Project website. March 2014
A Qualitative Study of Families of Children with Autism in the Somali Community: Comparing the Experiences of Immigrant Groups (PDF 478 KB/73 pages)
In 2012, the Minnesota Legislature authorized a study intended to help understand "cultural– and resource–based aspects of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) that are unique to the Somali community." The study was extended to also include the Hmong and Latino communities. The study was conducted by researchers from: the University of Minnesota, School of Public Health; the Somali, Latino, and Hmong Partnership for Health and Wellness (SoLaHmo), West Side Community Health Services; and the Confederation of Somali Community in Minnesota (CSCM).
Autism and the Somali Community – MDH Report of Study, 2009
Anyone interested in obtaining the full 2009 MDH report may contact us at 651–201–3650.
Baaxadda Cudurrada Autismka (ASD's) (PDF: 128KB/2 pages)
Help Me Grow – 6 Months Somali (YouTube: 5 minutes and 38 seconds)
Minnesota Department of Health Interpreter Roster
Parent Education for Somali Americans: Autism. (YouTube: 12 minutes and 31 seconds)
Somali American Autism Foundation