“It was like walking without knowing where I was going”: A Qualitative Study of Autism in a UK Somali Migrant Community

Fiona Fox*, Nura Aabe, Katrina Turner, Sabi Redwood, Dheeraj Rai

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)
384 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Increasing recognition of autism in Somali migrant communities means that appropriate support services are needed. Attitudes to autism and barriers related to help-seeking in these communities are poorly understood. We aimed to assess what families affected by autism need, and how health, education and social care services can support them. In partnership with the local Somali community the research team conducted 15 in-depth interviews with parents affected by autism. Two themes are reported; ‘Perceptions of Autism’ and ‘Navigating the System’. Our research shows the importance of understanding cultural views of autism and the need to raise awareness, reduce stigma and provide support to encourage families not to delay seeking help for their children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-315
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Volume47
Issue number2
Early online date17 Nov 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017

Keywords

  • Attitudes
  • Autism
  • Childhood
  • Disability
  • Help-seeking
  • Migrant
  • Qualitative
  • Somali

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