Cognitive Bias and Ethnic Disparity in Autism Diagnosis

Early autism diagnosis leads to better outcomes, yet children of color are less likely to be diagnosed and are more at risk of misdiagnosis. Here’s what parents need to know.

Joey* and Andrew* are, in so many ways, quite similar. These 3-year-olds are rambunctious, never want to take a nap and don’t like peas. Both also share traits commonly associated Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The parents of these two toddlers are good people who work hard to nurture and care for their child, make all the sacrifices needed to ensure their lives are stable and have even started to make plans for their futures. They may even know that cases of ASD are on the rise in this country, with numbers expected to surge by 10–17 percent annually.

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