These are some common worries that Somali parents have about autism:
- It’s a mental illness
- It means they are disabled
- They might be possessed
- It’s because we live in a western country, people in Somalia don’t have this problem
The truth is that autism is a ‘neurodevelopmental’ difference, which means the brain is wired differently.
Here are some facts about autism:
- It’s not just a western condition, it exists everywhere in the world
- It’s not the fault of the child, the parents or the family
- It affects both boys and girls and some families will have more than one child with autism
- It is a lifelong condition
Everyone with autism is different from each other.
A child with autism might have difficulties with:
- Understanding what people are saying and knowing how to respond
- Reading body language and facial expressions
- Doing the same things over and over again
Many autistic children will have different qualities and strengths, for example:
- A good memory for facts or the ability to focus on details
- Being more honest and open than other children
- Being happy in their own company
Your child will always have autism throughout their life, but it doesn’t mean they can’t succeed. What will make a difference is early intervention and knowing how to support them.
To download this information and some top tips, click the links below.
Autism Independence worked with NIHR to produce these videos to be watched alongside the fact sheet.