The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that children of minorities often get a diagnosis much later than their Caucasian peers. According to the center, children of color are likely to receive a diagnosis for autism around 18 to 24 months later than other kids.
This is believed to have a huge impact on their treatment, as researches have established that early intervention is key in helping children with autism reach their full potential.
Another hurdle minorities face is the lack of access to autism programs. One mother, Ana Casserly, said that they don’t have access to informations on programs being offered for children with autism. She told:
“There’s a lot of programs out there, do you think we know? Thanks to a friend of mine – she’s white – she’s the one who comes and tells me, ‘Look they’re opening this program or that program.’ And we had the same coordinator!”
Rochester City School District official Christopher Suriano says they are aware of these hurdles that minority families face. He told:
“I think in urban settings, we need to look at better access to community resources, and community centers that focus on students with autism.”
Suriano also admitted that cultural differences is a huge factor, and that even special needs educators are not equipped to address these differences. He told:
“To be very honest with you, we don’t really have specific training around the different disabilities and the cultural aspects that would be impacting that student. We look at the student’s disability as a whole.”
Source: Sasha-Ann Simons: WATCH: Delayed Diagnosis and Care of Autism Keeping Minority Children Behind WXXI News