Research on autism in Indigenous communities to be conducted

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Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 63
Gender: Male
Posts: 25,508
Location: Long Island, New York

24 May 2019, 1:56 am

Autism within the Indigenous community is both under detected and underrepresented, but a new program is going to make way on changing that fact.

The Autism Resource Centre (ARC) found this through preliminary research and is partnering with Cowessess First Nation to develop a program exploring autism in Indigenous communities.

“Autism is a growing disorder in First Nation communities across the province. Studies prove that early intervention is key, however, waitlists for diagnosis are long,” said Chief Cadmus Delorme of the Cowessess First Nation.

The three-year project called the Building Block Program: Transition Services for Indigenous Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder, will be focused on researching autism within First Nations communities and improving participation of Indigenous youth with autism transitioning from high school to paid employment.

Reasons for under-detection and underrepresentation in these communities include but aren’t limited to: diagnostic substitutions like Fetal Alcohol Syndrom Disorder diagnosis, geographical location, and a “history of mistrust that exists towards western medical forms of interventions,” according to the First Nation.

The project will be funded by a multi-year contract from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) Autism Spectrum Disorder Fund.

The collaboration with Cowessess First Nation is seen as imperative to its success.

Cowessess First Nation, ARC, along with the Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Network, Street Culture Project, and the University of Regina and Simon Fraser University will be involved in the project.

The project is the first of its kind in North America.

Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity.

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman