Children of immigrants may have higher neurodevelopmental risks than those of non-immigrant populations. Yet, some evidence suggests that this group may receive late diagnosis, and therefore miss beneficial early interventions. Clinicians may misattribute symptoms of disorders to other social, behavioral or language problems. Likewise, there might be cultural differences in parents' likelihood of perceiving or reporting first developmental concerns to clinicians. Population-based standardized screening may play an important role in addressing ethnic inequalities in the age at diagnosis, although further research focusing on cross-cultural use is necessary. Once children are diagnosed, clinicians may rely on culturally sensitive procedures (translation services, cultural mediators) to increase the accessibility of interventions and improve adherence among immigrant families. In this brief review, we provide an overview about what is currently known about the epidemiology and risk factors of neurodevelopmental disorders, paying special attention to autism spectrum disorder (ASD), in children of immigrants and suggest the necessity of population-based screening and culturally sensitive care.
Original languageEnglish
Article number566368
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalFrontiers in Psychiatry
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2021


  • autism spectrum disorder
  • child development
  • developmental disabilities
  • maternal and child health
  • migrant health
  • migration
  • neurodevelopment


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