Autism from a religious perspective: A study of parental beliefs in South Asian Muslim immigrant families

Brinda Jegatheesan, Peggy J. Miller, Susan A Fowler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

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 childrens development. Findings have implications for multicultural teacher education and enhancing home, community, and school collaboration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-109
Number of pages12
JournalFocus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2010

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Muslim families
  • Religion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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