Questions Loom Over Prevalence Of Autism Among Somali Immigrants
Instances of autism among the children of Somali immigrants in Minneapolis are significantly higher than the rest of the population. Now parents and experts alike are asking why.
Last year a quarter of preschool students in the city’s autism treatment classes were Somali even though Somali children represent just 6 percent of the city’s students.
Officials don’t know whether the numbers are symptomatic of an outbreak or just a statistical fluke. And now the Minnesota Department of Health is conducting a study in coordination with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in hopes of finding out more.
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Many Somali parents do not speak English and know nothing about autism until their own child is diagnosed. And among the concerns is the prospect that Somali parents could stop vaccinating their children due to the belief some parents have that autism may be linked to vaccines. That presents a public health worry since some families visit Somalia where measles remains a threat to children’s health, reports the New York Times. To read more click here.