See end of paper for list of abbreviations.
Prevalence of autism in children born to Somali parents living in Sweden: a brief report
Article first published online: 1 AUG 2008
Copyright © 2008 Mac Keith Press
Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology
Volume 50, Issue 8, pages 598–601, August 2008
How to Cite
Barnevik–Olsson, M., Gillberg, C. and Fernell, E. (2008), Prevalence of autism in children born to Somali parents living in Sweden: a brief report. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology, 50: 598–601. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-8749.2008.03036.x
North American usage: mental retardation.
- Issue published online: 1 AUG 2008
- Article first published online: 1 AUG 2008
- Accepted for publication 19th March 2008.
In a geographical area of Stockholm, with a relatively large Somali immigrant population, parents as well as teachers in special schools and staff at habilitation centres have raised concerns over whether children with a Somali background are over-represented in the total group of children with autism. The aim of the study was, therefore, to investigate the prevalence of autism in children with parents from Somalia, living in Stockholm county, and to compare the prevalence in children of Somali background with that in the non-Somali group. We reviewed the records of 17 children (13 males, four females), born between 1988 and 1998 (age range 7–17y) and with a Somali background, who had a diagnosis of autistic disorder or pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDDNOS) and were registered at either of the two autism habilitation centres for school-aged children. The prevalence of autistic disorder or PDDNOS was found to be three to four times higher than in the non-Somali group (0.7% vs 0.19%). All children also had learning disability.* Our findings warrant further investigations of possible aetiological factors behind the increased prevalence of autistic disorders in children of Somali origin found in this area in Sweden.