Study Reveals Racial Disparities in Parents’ Reports of Children’s Autism Symptoms Compared with white parents, black parents report fewer concerns related to their child’s autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptoms, according to a study. The study, led by Georgia State University researchers and published in the journal Autism, included 174 children (18–40 months old). After positive screenings for ASD, the children were ... Research in Brief
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Research in Brief  |   March 01, 2018
Study Reveals Racial Disparities in Parents’ Reports of Children’s Autism Symptoms
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Special Populations / Autism Spectrum / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   March 01, 2018
Study Reveals Racial Disparities in Parents’ Reports of Children’s Autism Symptoms
The ASHA Leader, March 2018, Vol. 23, 15. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB2.23032018.15
The ASHA Leader, March 2018, Vol. 23, 15. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB2.23032018.15
The study, led by Georgia State University researchers and published in the journal Autism, included 174 children (18–40 months old). After positive screenings for ASD, the children were offered a diagnostic evaluation. Before the evaluation, the parents completed a free-response questionnaire on their child’s behavior and development.

The authors found that white parents were 2.61 times more likely to report a social concern.

Researchers analyzed the parental responses and sorted them into either autism concerns (social and restricted/repetitive behavior concerns) or non-autism concerns (motor or general developmental and disruptive behavior concerns).
The authors found that white parents were 2.61 times more likely to report a social concern and 4.12 times more likely to report a concern about restricted and repetitive behaviors than black parents.
“Reduced reporting of ASD symptoms may contribute to missed or delayed diagnosis in black children, since health care providers often rely on parent report about typical behavior,” says study co-author Meghan Rose Donohue of Georgia State University’s Department of Psychology.
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March 2018
Volume 23, Issue 3