Somali American Autism Foundation

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Our Mission:
The foundation’s mission is to raise awareness and assist Somali parents with autistic children find available resources, as well as to find out why so many Somali kids born in Minnesota are being diagnosed with autism.  The word Autism does not exist in Somalia and we have never seen anything like this high rate before.  There is something about Somalis children that seem to be so attractive to autism and SAAF’s aim is to get to the bottom of this.  We want to assure parents that there is Help and there is Hope for their children.  We believe that autism is not just a Somali concern, but a Minnesota concern, an American concern and a global concern. We must work together across borders to solve this global health crises “puzzle” for all of our children’s sake
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 We understand that there are those with autism who are doing fairly well and do not wish for a cause or a cure, we wish them well and hope they don't interfere with our reality of autism and the fact that we need a cause and cure for our children with autism who unlike them are not able to self-advocate for themselves.


Our History:
Somali American Autism Foundation was started by Somali parents that were puzzled by the lack of a road map when a child is first diagnosed with autism.  We came up with the name Somali because parents are from Somalia, American because our children are from America, Autism is what we are about and Foundation because we want to lay the foundation for finding out why the rate is so high among us.  We will connect parents with appropriate therapy for their children.  We will make sure that all parents feel welcomed and receive equal access to care for their child.  We strongly emphasize the importance of early education and early therapy intervention.  We understand that autism is a complex and confusing disorder to digest and process in our community because it is so new to us.  However, your child's best chance is early intervention and early help.  Please ask your child’s doctor if he/she is not talking to refer you to a speech therapist.  If your child has a sensory processing disorder, please ask his/her doctor to refer you to an occupational therapist.  If your child has feeding concerns, ask his/her doctor to refer you to a feeding therapist.  We believe that parents are responsible for their child’s well being and health.  Therefore, we must do all that is possible to accomplish that.

In Somali:
Autism waxay taabatay dhuuxeeni iyo dheecaankeeni oo ah caruurteena ilaahay hibada inooga dhigay. Waa in waalidiinta Soomaliyeed ay la da'daalaan caruurtooda oo ay mar walba la tashadaan dhakhtarkooda. Waxan rajaynaynaa in umadda Soomaliyeed ee caruurtoodi autismka qabin ay ogaadaan xanuunka ay waalidiintu dareemayso oo ay na garab istaagaan. Waxaa kale oo muhiim ah in la fahmo autism iyo in waalidka ilmaha dhalay oo kaliya ay xiran yihiin kabo aan cid kale qiyaasin karin. Marka hooyo ama aabo Soomaliyeed dhakhtarku ku yiraahdo ilmahaaga cudurka haya daawadiisa ma hayno, sidaad u daawayn lahayd ma naqaano, waxa keenay ma naqaano - maskaxdaada waxay tagtaa meelo aanad waligaa filan, qalbigaagugana wuxuu taabtaa xanuun aanad waligaa dareemin. Xanaaq, caro, inkiraad iwm ayuu waalid walba dareemaa. Qof aan ilmihiisu autism qabin ma dareemi karo waligiis xitaa hadii uu yahay qof la shaqeeya waxyaabahaas.

Cudur iyo caafimaadba ilaahay baa keena, sidaa daraadeed waa in waalidiinta Soomaaliyeed ee ay caruurtoodu Autismka qabto ku dadaalaan in ay ilmahooda caawiyaan.  Hadii uunan ilmahaagu hadlayn, dhakhtarkiisa waydii in speech therapist loo diro.  Hadii uu ilmahaagu cunto xun yahay, dhakhtarkiisa waydii in loo diro feeding therapist. Hadii uu ilmahaagu wili diaper xiran yahay kana wayn yahay shan sano, ama dhagaha ka qabsado hadalka dheer, ama iftiinku uu dhibo, ama uuna kaligii dharkiisa iyo kabahiisa xiran karayn isagoo ka wayn shan sano, amaba uu guud ahaan ka hooseeyo ilmaha da'diisa ah - ha dhayalsanin ee dhakhtarka ka codso in loo diro Occupational Therapist. Waa muhiim in aad dhakhtarka ilmahaaga wax walba kala tashatid.
  

Ilaahay baan ka baryaynaa in ay caruurtu noo wada bogsadaan.  Insha Allah! 

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