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Asha Abdullahi

Asha Abdullahi

Institute for Community Inclusion
University of Massachusetts, MA

Asha Abdullai is from Somalia. She came to this country as a refugee with her family. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She is a case worker at a non-profit based organization in Boston, the Somali Development Center. In her UCEDD Fellowship, she participates in the Boston Children’s Hospital / ICI LEND program as a Diversity Fellow and she is also preparing a capstone project designed for the Somali community. The purpose of the project is to educate her community about intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and mental health issues. As a family advocate, the project is very important to Asha because her brother suffers from the effects of trauma. In her community, mental health disorders come with a stigma. One goal of her project is to help educate about stigma so that her community may be more inclusive than it is today. A second goal is to educate the Somali parents about the signs to look for in a child who may have a developmental delay to promote early detection and early intervention. In recent years, Asha’s community has seen a high number of children diagnosed with Autism.


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