Autistic children of color frequently diagnosed too late

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Although autism presents significant challenges for anyone who suffers from the condition (and their families), it appears that African-American children, as well as other children of color, are among those who are most severely affected.

The bottom line is that African-American children are simply not getting an autism diagnosis as quickly as white children. The CDC asserts that while many children receive the diagnosis around four years of age, researchers have found that African-American children are often diagnosed 18 to 24 months later.

While this may not seem like much of a delay, it is critical. The first two years of a child’s life are crucial for brain development. This is the time when children are learning basic language and social skills, and are starting to engage in play and conversation.

It has also been documented that African-American and Hispanic children who have autism are referred to a specialist less often. These children are also less likely to get medical tests than white children. Research also suggests that when African-American children do get a referral and go to a health professional to be treated for autism, the child is often misdiagnosed with another condition, such as a behavioral disorder or ADHD.

Read full, original post: Autism: Why Children of Color Are Often Diagnosed Too Late

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