Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Lisa R. Kiesel


Social Work


The design of this research study is a qualitative methodology utilizing semi- structured interviews. The purpose of this study was to explore specifically how Somali parents experience, perceive, and understand their child’s diagnosis, the diagnostic process, and treatment services. A total of four Somali parents were interviewed for this research study. Following the interviews, themes that were identified during the analysis process involve understanding of autism, support, and feelings during the diagnostic process, self- advocacy and education. The themes discovered in this study were similar to many of the key themes present in the Autism and Somali related literature. However, the data also showed some findings that were underrepresented in the current literature such as the barriers Somali parents face while raising a child on the autism spectrum. The implication from this study suggests more qualitative research is needed about mental health in the Somali community in general.

Included in

Social Work Commons