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Autism Spectrum and Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Children of Immigrants: A Brief Review of Current Evidence and Implications for Clinical Practice

Abstract : Children of immigrants may have higher neurodevelopmental risks than those of non-immigrant populations. Yet, some evidence suggests that this group may receive late diagnosis, and therefore miss beneficial early interventions. Clinicians may misattribute symptoms of disorders to other social, behavioral or language problems. Likewise, there might be cultural differences in parents' likelihood of perceiving or reporting first developmental concerns to clinicians. Population-based standardized screening may play an important role in addressing ethnic inequalities in the age at diagnosis, although further research focusing on cross-cultural use is necessary. Once children are diagnosed, clinicians may rely on culturally sensitive procedures (translation services, cultural mediators) to increase the accessibility of interventions and improve adherence among immigrant families. In this brief review, we provide an overview about what is currently known about the epidemiology and risk factors of neurodevelopmental disorders, paying special attention to autism spectrum disorder (ASD), in children of immigrants and suggest the necessity of population-based screening and culturally sensitive care.
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Heiko Schmengler, David Cohen, Sylvie Tordjman, Maria Melchior. Autism Spectrum and Other Neurodevelopmental Disorders in Children of Immigrants: A Brief Review of Current Evidence and Implications for Clinical Practice. Frontiers in Psychiatry, Frontiers, 2021, 12, ⟨10.3389/fpsyt.2021.566368⟩. ⟨hal-03190641⟩

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