MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A University of Minnesota study finds the incidence of autism spectrum disorder is higher among Somali children in Minneapolis than the city’s children as a whole — and it appears to affect them more severely.
The study wasn’t designed to find out why and the authors say more research is needed. But lead researcher Amy Hewitt says the findings back up the common belief among Minneapolis Somalis that their children suffer from high rates of the disorder.
According to the study, about 1 in 32 Somali children ages 7-9 were identified with autism spectrum disorder in Minneapolis in 2010, compared with 1 in 48 children overall. The incidence among Somali children was higher than for non-Somali black and Hispanic children, but about the same for Somali children as white children.