Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Autism Rates Are Higher for U.S.-Born Somali Children in Minneapolis

New York Times:
Confirming the fears of Somali immigrants in Minneapolis, the Minnesota Health Department agreed Tuesday that young Somali children there appeared to have higher-than-usual rates of autism.

Though health officials emphasized that their report was based on very limited data, they concluded that young Somali children appeared to be two to seven times as likely as other children to be in classes for autistic pupils.

Dr. Sanne Magnan, the state health commissioner, said the finding was “consistent with the observations by parents,” who have been saying for more than a year that alarming numbers of Somali children born in this country have severe autism.
Somalis began immigrating into the area in the 1990s, fleeing civil war in their homeland.