Autism Minnesota Somali community see through anti-vaccine brigade

29 May

In November last year, David Kirby wrote a Huffington Post entry about the Minnesota Somali autism situation saying:

In fact, one of the most obvious “environmental” differences between Minnesota and Somalia is mass vaccination…

And of course, the Age of Autism site, made many proclamations about the Somali community and vaccines:

Somali parents, I offer this advice as the father of a son with autism. Like many of you, I watched my normal son descend into autism after receiving his vaccines. I genuinely believe too many vaccines given too soon in our children’s lives is the primary trigger for the autism epidemic

However it seems that maybe the Minnesotan Somali autism population have done their own reading and come to their own conclusions.

The Somali American Autism Foundation is a new-ish Foundation. The domain name was created in Feb 2009 for example. Pretty much in the middle of the period that the Age of Autism crew were waxing lyrical about standing shoulder to shoulder with their Somalian friends in the battle against vaccines.

One of the founders of the SAAF, Idil Abdull, has this to say:

When my son Abdullahi was first diagnosed with autism at age three, I felt angry, sad and confused because I have never heard of the word Autism before. I had no idea what to do next and how to help my son. A mother’s job is to help her child with whatever life throws at them, but when the doctor told me there is no known cause and cure for autism, I felt helpless and hopeless.

I remember crying for what seemed forever. After I realized to be thankful that god blessed me with a beautiful son, I saw the hope in him and the help he needed from his mother. I rolled up my sleeves and went to work by reading every autism book I could find and going online for any help to give my son the hope he and countless others need and deserve. I would not change a thing about my son Abdullahi. He is a happy and loving child and I thank god everyday for him. There is HELP and There is HOPE not just for my son but for all of our children.

Now thats a pretty fantastic, positive and…yep, neurodiverse, type of message don’t you think?

But there’s more.

The SAAF website carries a detailed explanation of what a vaccine is and how they were first started. It takes away a lot of the negative mystery and states:

There is a strong minority of people who believe that the increasing rates of autism and learning disabilities in the U.S. are related to its mandatory immunization program. There is still no credible evidence of a correlation between autism and vaccinations. This position is supported by the World Health Organization, the CDC, The AMA, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

They then recommend that a parent talk to their physician. What simple, credible and good advice.

I’d like to welcome The SAAF to the growing community of autism organisations that are clearly fed up with a constant preoccupation with a disproven hypothesis. Maybe it would be a good idea for SAAF and the newly created Autism Science Foundation to talk together.

12 Responses to “Autism Minnesota Somali community see through anti-vaccine brigade”

  1. Mike Stanton May 29, 2009 at 22:09 #

    This is excellent news. thank you for bogging it and give my thanks to Idil for all she has done. The NAS have translated some of their documents into Somali.
    Hope this helps

  2. Mike Stanton May 29, 2009 at 22:36 #

    This may help. It is a link to information about autism that has been translated into Somali. It comes from the NAS so it should be more reliable than Generation Rescue.

  3. Joseph May 29, 2009 at 22:57 #

    In fact, one of the most obvious “environmental” differences between Minnesota and Somalia is mass vaccination…

    Right, that’s the most obvious environmental difference between Minnesota and Somalia. *rolls eyes*

    Of course, the cultural and socio-economic differences are probably what matter most in this case.

  4. cpu52362 May 29, 2009 at 23:22 #

    I like the Hope and Love expressed by the comment about the child, and am glad to hear they consider WHO/CDC/AMA inputs regarding vaccination.

  5. Squillo May 30, 2009 at 01:00 #

    Good for them! I’d hazard a guess that a few in the Somali-American community have seen first-hand what happens when there is little immunity to VPDs.

  6. Sullivan May 30, 2009 at 01:12 #

    Well spoken, Idil!

    I wish you and your whole community well.

  7. ireneburton66 May 30, 2009 at 09:38 #

    Wonderful, the SAAF are an example to us all of rational, sensible and plain speaking. I wish them well.

  8. Mike Stanton May 30, 2009 at 23:08 #

    Sorry about the multiple comments. I think that LBRB was having a ScienceBlogs moment with regard to comments. Still it is a good link and probably worth repeating. Basic information about autism is available in a range of languages courtesy of the National Autistic Society here:

  9. Somalia idps community elders July 24, 2009 at 16:11 #

    well we the Somalia IDPs community elders ,ather have seen and surveyed the camps of IDPs livinf out of the Mogadishu skirt and fled the capital purpose of unendable conflict appear face of hunger as we relaesd BBC broad casting last week all UN agencies working in Somalia are defying to assit the victims living unddr the cages with empty hands, also we have lot of pictures and events of this IDPs if youintresting more info about that ask us we are ready to pay more details,
    thank you
    Bwst regards
    Soamlia IDPs community elders


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