Date of Degree


Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name



International Migration Studies


Anahi Viladrich


Health and social services, immigration, ethnicity, autism, African and Asian families, barriers


The bulk of the literature on autistic immigrant children in Canada has been centered on Asian and African immigrant families. Based on a critical analysis of this body of work, findings helped us to better understand families and children’s specific needs and experiences of care. Limited perceptions of disability, low language skills and limited knowledge of service systems, along with experiences of discrimination and lack of financial means tend to create barriers to health care access among Asian and African families raising an autistic child. Stronger social support systems, including the intervention of a third person (e.g., social service worker, case manager) are needed to help families navigate the Canadian health and social service systems.

Implications – Service providers in Canada need to actively work with Asian and African immigrant parents, that have a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder, to help them overcome access barriers to health care and social services. Culturally competent services are needed to improve service delivery and patients’ outcomes both in the short and long run.