'U' Study: Autism High In Mpls. Somali Children For years, parents in the Somali community in Minneapolis have said autism is unusually common in their kids. Now, a University of Minnesota study confirms those claims. The study used data from 2010 to determine if more Somali kids, ages seven to nine, had autism than other kids in the state's largest city. Idil Abdul has a son with autism. "I knew what they said today in 2008," Abdul said.