Sen. Hoffman silences a Somali Autism Mom – What now?

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Alright – so, if you know me, read my blog, or have been following autism policies in Minnesota then you know Sen. Hoffman has never been in our corner. Yes, I know he is charming, and charismatic and can say a few Somali or other East African words. He also writes a couple of bills and grants for one or two minorities. Woo hoo.

When it comes to autism, he has been against the low-income autism family. He voted against what is now known as EIDBI. He refused to do anything about suspending black, brown, and students with disabilities. God knows I have tried to campaign against him without success thus far. I will be coming back until he is defeated at the polls. Oh and, he is responsible for requiring a BCBA in EIDBI agencies even though there are hardly any in Minnesota. You see, Sen. Hoffman does not do his homework before writing a bill. Don’t get me wrong, he is a very smart legislator. But he is too arrogant to do anything inclusive with everyone.

Anyway, he is now carrying a bill for the group that is as welcoming as 1950s Alabama golf club that is asking for a rate increase in EIDBI. How do you like them apples? This group campaigned, lobbied, and testified against EIDBI to the nth power.  And, they want to exploit the system and make money out of it. Ladies and gentlemen, this is what is called white privileged.

Below is my written testimony:

Minnesota Senate

Human Services Committee

Chair – Sen. Hoffman; Vice Chair – Sen. Fateh

March 27, 2023

     Re: Opposing SF 1593 – EIDBI Rate Increase; it is waste of time, money, and resources

Dear Mr. Chair and Mr. Vice Chair,

My name is Idil Abdull, I am a Somali Autism Mom, Advocate, and EIDBI provider. I oppose this bill for several reasons. First, I am disappointed that I am being silenced and the chair has refused to allow me to speak publicly and oppose this unnecessary, expensive, anti-diversity, and not needed legislation. This is a public committee using public funds run by public elected officials. It is unprecedented that some of the public are muted and silenced.

  1. It is redundant. As you know the governor and DHS have a rate study language in their bill and budget. That language will have diverse voices, is cost-effective and necessary.
  2. It has a fiscal note that we do not know yet.
  3. If the goal is culturally responsive to everything, and it is preached by this committee then this legislation was not drafted in such a way.
  4. As you all know, Somali kids born in Minnesota have the highest autism rate in any group in Minnesota and nationwide. Yet so many Somali autism families including me were excluded from this bill.
  5. There are more Somali EIDBI providers than any other ethnicity, yet many of us were not at the table. Quite frankly, as a black woman, I am tired of never being at the table in so many policies and often on the menu. Again, disparity is created by actions like this.
  6. I hope that this committee spends the money on this bill increasing diverse BCBAs since there are almost none in Minnesota, even though EIDBI providers are forced to have one. That is needed not this bill.

Finally, as you know Mr. Chair, you voted against EIDBI initially almost a decade ago. Back then it was not called EIDBI. We in the Somali community were simply asking MA to cover autism therapy for the low-income autistic child. It is also noted on the record that the group that is now pushing to make more money from EIDBI was against it. They testified and lobbied against it.

Thanks for your time,


Idil Abdull – Somali Autism Mom, Advocate, and EIDBI Provider


The above words do not reflect any candidate, agency, or committee

Idil – Somali Autism Mom & Advocate