Minnesota Daily Article Quotes Hewitt on Autism

Tue Nov 22 2016
Marian Ahmed calms down her 6-year-old son, Anas, as 4-year-old Edna entertains herself, on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016 at their home in Savage, Minnesota. Ahmed has four children, two boys and two girls. Both of her sons, Anas and Ayub, have autism.

ICI’s Amy Hewitt was interviewed by the Minnesota Daily for its November 22 article, “Despite Stigma, Somali Parents Find Support for Children with Autism." Hewitt, identified as the lead author of the Institute’s 2013 study on autism prevalence among Somali children in Minneapolis, PDF explained that there are many theories about the rising prevalence of autism diagnosis, but no one has pinpointed a reason. “One theory is that there is a lot more effort around screening and prevention and getting the word out about autism and autism spectrum disorders,” she said. “And with that increased…attention, more kids are being screened, and more kids are getting service.” But, she noted, right now there’s limited data on the subject. “The only study that’s been done in the United States… specifically about Somali prevalence, is the one that we did,” Hewitt told the Daily. She also spoke about the new CDC-funded prevalence project now going at ICI, a follow-up to the 2013 study that continues efforts to better understand prevalence differences among immigrant and diverse populations.