Autism prevalence in immigrant children (APIC) [poster] Conference Poster uri icon
  • Background: Autism is a developmental brain disorder characterized by impaired social interaction and poor communication. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) estimates 1 percent of Minnesota's children have autism. But according to the Minnesota Department of Education, of the children eligible to receive services for autistic students in the state‚Äôs early childhood and kindergarten programs, more than 12 percent speak Somali at home. According to Minneapolis school officials, more than 17 percent of the children in the district's early childhood special education autism program are Somali speaking. These reports may not represent the true prevalence of autism for several reasons such as discrepant diagnostic criteria, disease misclassification and selection bias.
    Objective: The overarching objective of this study is to ascertain the prevalence of medically diagnosed Austism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Somali and other immigrant children. In addition, we will examine the association of acculturation with ASD.
    Methods: In order to determine prevalence, data on country of birth, language, ASD diagnoses and other patient characteristics will be extracted from the electronic medical record (EMR). These data will be used to identify Somali, Hmong, Vietnamese, and Hispanic as well as English speaking and American-born children ages 1-21 in the HealthPartners patient population. Chart audits will be conducted to confirm diangnoses within ASD.
    Study Significance: The study will be among the first to ascertain the prevalence of medically diagnosed autism in the Somali population of the twin cities area, with a comparison of other ethnic groups.

  • publication date
  • 2010
  • Research
  • Disability
  • Immigrants
  • Prevalence
  • Racial Groups