Diverse perspectives: the challenges for families affected by autism from Black, Asian and Minority ethnic communities

National Autistic Society
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This report looks at the needs and experiences of children with autism and their families and carers from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities in England. It is based on the findings from thirteen focus groups in which participants were asked to consider their needs for support in relation to autism, the difficulties in getting the help they needed and the possible impact of ethnicity, faith and religious beliefs, gender and language. The report highlights key challenges, including difficulties in getting a diagnosis, low awareness of autism and child development, a culture of stigma, shame and blame in some communities, family denial and isolation of parents and carers, language and communication barriers, and difficult communication with professionals, often due to families’ lack of confidence or professionals’ attitudes. The report includes case studies and a series of recommendations for the Department of Health, local authorities and clinical commissioning groups. (Edited publisher abstract)

Subject terms:
autism, black and minority ethnic people, family support, access to services, stigma, social isolation, staff-user relationships, communication, case studies, communities, clinical commissioning groups;
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