Three multilingual immigrant South Asian Muslim families who have children with autism were interviewed to ascertain their beliefs about autism. Data were drawn from interviews and conversations recorded during 17 months of ethnographic fieldwork in homes and community. Results indicate that families understood the task of raising a child with autism in religious terms. In keeping with the precepts of Islam, their overarching goal was to raise their children as normally as possible, incorporating them into ordinary social, linguistic, and religious practices at home and in the community. Parents strongly contested experts’ understandings of autism, which they believed undermined rather than promoted their children’s development. Findings have implications for multicultural teacher education and enhancing home, community, and school collaboration.

Author(s): Brinda Jegatheesan, Peggy J. Miller & Susan A. Fowler

Journal: Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities

Date: 2010

Volume: 25

Issue: 2

Pages: 98-109

DOI: 10.1177/1088357610361344

Databased: Yes

Disabilities: Autism Spectrum Disorders

Categories: Families