As a follow-up to the last post about the outbreak of ASD among the children of Somali refugees in Minneapolis, Age of Autism
has posted accounts by both David Kirby and Nancy Hokkanen regarding a recent forum involving heath officials in Minnesota and the Somali families (here
). Not surprisingly, most of the officials spent their time refuting any connection between the numerous vaccines the children were subjected to in the United States that they did not have to take in Somalia. Their stating that opinion is not really a problem; I certainly would not want anyone to refrain from doing so. What bothers me is the condescension shown toward the families.
Families complained about the fact that they really had not been told anything they didn't already know, and that there was no plan discussed to discover what the problem is if it is not vaccines. But the real indication of a lack of concern is that the health officials had, for the most part, disappeared by the time the parents presented their own panel. The Minnesota health commissioner had started the day off by declaring: “Today is the start of a dialogue, of listening to your concerns and frustrations, and looking for solutions together.” Words like that can be empty in any language.