Autism diagnosis / “PC code” for behavior problems in upper class families?

PMCID: PMC3402594
NIHMSID: NIHMS365588

Differences in Autism Symptoms between Minority and Non-Minority Toddlers

Saime Tek and Rebecca J. Landa, PhD, CCC-SLP, Professor, Director
EXCERPT: While the prevalence of ASD does not differ across racial and ethnic groups (Fombonne, 2003), a limited number of studies have shown that children of African American, Hispanic, and Asian descent are less likely to receive early diagnosis of autism than Caucasian children (Mandell et al., 2002; Mandell et al., 2009; CDC, 2006). In addition, when minority children (who are) eventually diagnosed with ASD see health-care professionals, they are more likely to receive a diagnosis other than autism. For example, Mandell et al. (2007) reported that African-American children with ASD were usually diagnosed with ADHD, conduct disorder, or adjustment disorder on their first specialty health-care visit. In another study, Begeer, Bouk, Boussaid, Terwogt, & Koot (2009) examined why non-European minorities in the Netherlands were proportionally underrepresented in institutions specialized in the diagnosis of autism. The investigators reported that medical professionals were more likely to classify a case as autism when judging clinical vignettes of European children with ASD than vignettes of non-European minorities.

Racism again? Minority children are considered to be “problem kids” who exhibit “bad behavior” due to their race, ethnicity or economic status, with the implication of “bad parenting” as the cause?

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photos not part of paper, but too good to pass up:

left, unknown “boy”; right “the doll test” NAACP

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