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Social workers are poised to help Latino children get autism evaluations

Published by: Spectrum News

Autism can affect anyone, and yet there are stark disparities in how children of different races, ethnicities and income level are diagnosed and treated1.

Latino children are often overlooked in the United States. They comprise one-fourth of all children in the country under age 18 and are expected to make up one-third by 2050. However, U.S. prevalence data have consistently shown that fewer Latino children than white or Black children are diagnosed with autism2. Other research indicates that Latino children tend to be diagnosed later than white children3.

These findings are concerning, given the importance of identifying autism early and intervening to enhance a child’s social-communication skills. Researchers and clinicians need to consider the cultural factors that may influence autism diagnosis and treatment, develop new assessment tools and programs dedicated to the Latino population, and explore other means to lower the disparities. Click here to read the rest of the story.