CLAHRC West awarded £17k to produce short film to support Somali families affected by autism

11 May 2018

NIHR CLAHRC West has been awarded £17,709 by the ESRC Impact Acceleration Account to produce a short film with Autism Independence and Therapeutic Media, which will reflect the experiences of Somali families affected by autism.

The film will aim to increase understanding and tackle stigma among the Somali migrant community, as well as promoting culturally-sensitive services to support Somali families affected by autism. It will form part of a training resource to improve awareness of culture-specific issues in autism among health, education and social care professionals, trainees and policymakers and will be freely available online for wider use.

This project enables us to build on our established relationship with Autism Independence and to accelerate the findings of our research with this community for greater and longer lasting impact.

We will collaborate with a new partner, the Therapeutic Media Company, which specialises in films for the health and social care sectors. They have expertise in fostering inclusive, creative partnerships using participatory techniques.

This accessible and lasting resource will highlight the experiences of Somali families whose children are diagnosed with autism and will be produced in Somali, with English subtitles, or voice-over.

We will start work on the film in the Autumn and we hope the premier screening will be early in 2019.

Fiona Fox, Senior Research Associate at CLAHRC West, said:

“I am thrilled that we have been successful in this application, as it gives us a great opportunity to build on the work we’ve already done with Nura Aabe and the rest of the team at Autism Independence. With the number of children affected by autism rising, especially among migrant communities, this kind of culturally-sensitive information is essential. We’ve worked hard to understand the needs of Somali families with children with autism. Many families don’t engage with health and social services. Our film will be a significant step in raising awareness among the Somali community and the professionals who work with them.”