Phenotypic Characteristics of Autism Spectrum Disorder in a Diverse Sample of Somali and Other Children
The potential for culture to impact diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is high, yet remains largely unstudied. This study examined differences across racial/ethnic groups in ASD symptoms, cognitive and adaptive skills, and related behaviors in children with ASD that included a unique subgroup, children from the Somali diaspora. Somali children were more likely to have ASD with intellectual disability than children from all other racial/ethnic groups. Few differences were found in the presence of specific symptoms and behaviors across groups once IQ was controlled. Results lend support to previous studies that found higher rates of ASD intellectual disability in children of immigrants from low human resource index countries compared to other groups. Implications for future research are discussed.