by ADN

July 24, 2014

Ethnic Minority Communities –  ‘with autistic children are missing out on essential support because of language and cultural barriers’, The Voice article reports.

The study by the National Autistic Society (NAS) revealed that, although families of all ethnicity who live with autism commonly  battle to access a diagnosis and support, BMEs face additional challenges to get the help that they need.

The NAS spoke to 130 parents and carers of children with autism from ethnic minority communities.

The research identified issues around communication with professionals and  highlighted a lack of awareness in some communities around the behaviours associated with autism.

Dr Laura Cockburn, an NAS manager, said:

“If we are to improve the lives of BAME families dealing with what can initially be a devastating diagnosis, it’s vital that decision makers, service providers and faith and community groups listen to those families and work together to produce effective, culturally appropriate support.”

The report was launched at the Houses of Parliament  and proposed a number of recommendations to the Department of Health (DH) and local government.

They include funded research around the specific needs of BME communities and as well as raising more awareness.

A DH spokesperson said:

“We know that people with autism from black and minority ethnic (BME) backgrounds can face difficulties in getting the help they need and that has to change.”

They also added that  local authorities will be asked on  how they can deliver support and services for autism specifically to BME communities.

The original article by Natricia Duncan on The Voice website can be read here


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