"On the Autism Spectrum: Families Find Help and Hope," is a series of five short films that raise awareness and understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and services available to Minnesota families within the following communities: African American, Hmong, Latino, Native American, and Somali. These were produced by the University of Minnesota's Institute on Community Integration for the Minnesota Department of Human Services.

The films provide support, encouragement, and direction for families experiencing ASD within communities that have historically underutilized available resources. Each 15-20 minute film features interviews with parents, advocates, medical professionals, educators, and community leaders speaking in the language of the target community with English subtitles.

On the Autism Spectrum (African American Community)

On the Autism Spectrum (Hmong Community)

On the Autism Spectrum (Latino Community)

On the Autism Spectrum (Native American Community)

On the Autism Spectrum (Somali Community)

Key Terms

Autism spectrum disorder

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that is caused by differences in how the brain functions. People with ASD may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in different ways. Signs of ASD begin during early childhood and usually last throughout a person’s life (1). ASD includes former diagnoses of autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder, not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), and Asperger disorder. These diagnoses were collapsed into the single category of ASD in 2013.