BACK TO THE SOMALI MATTER
As the Associated Press reported:
The Health Department studied Minneapolis public school autism programs for the three years starting with the 2005 school year. Researchers found the percentage of Somali children in the programs was two to seven times higher than non-Somali children.
“What that doesn't prove is that more Somali children have autism,” Health Commissioner Sanne Magnan said Tuesday. “That is the question that is still on the table.”
. . .
. . . the report said that one of the big questions is whether children might be misclassified when evaluators aren’t familiar with the child’s language, culture and behaviors that might be routine among some racial or ethnic groups.
Here’s a little clue for the Minnesota Health Department. If the parents have been confronted with something they never (or at least rarely) saw in children in their native land, and it’s now occurring at an alarming rate after they moved here, something is going on.
The New York Times quoted a CDC official, who seems to indicate that the agency is willing to take its usual head-in-the-sand approach:
The study was done in consultation with the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Coleen Boyle, director of the agency’s division of birth defects and developmental disabilities, called the study well done but preliminary, adding, “It highlights the importance of ongoing monitoring.”
There are no plans yet to study autism in Somalis elsewhere or to do genetic studies, Dr. Boyle said.
Why is no thought given to a study that might actually tell us something: an examination about what might be different between these families’ lives in Somalia and their lives here in the US. Is it because such a study might actually tell us something?