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ASD Diagnosis in African Americans

Article: African American Parents' Perceptions of Diagnosis and Services for Children with Autism. By Pearson and Meadan. In Education and Training in Autism and Developmental Disabilities, 2018, 53(1).

This is another qualitative study and the authors do a good job explaining the research to date and how this study adds to that research. I think this article is a good summary of the research and will be valid as such for another 6-12 months as this field (ASD service access for minorities) is developing rapidly.

A couple issues came up for me. This topic (access to services for minorities) is not one I am expert in, but certainly one I have been studying for the last few decades. I am having a hard time seeing the meaningful differences between minority families getting an ASD diagnosis and minority families receiving healthcare services in general. I think it is relevant to note that this lack of access includes an ASD diagnosis and early intervention, but beyond that I would like to see a discussion about how an ASD diagnosis and early intervention is unique from access to healthcare in general.

Speaking of qualitative and case studies, I recently worked with a white, middle-class family who was seeking an evaluation to address early childhood learning and behavioral difficulties. Even with a formal recommendation for an OT evaluation from the child's pre-school, the parents were still stonewalled by the child's pediatrician (who refused to make an in-house referral for an evaluation). It took the parents getting an independent, out-of-pocket assessment and then sending that to the pediatrician for the pediatrician to get on board (which she eventually did). So here is a case where all client factors were technically in the family's favor (white, educated, articulate, middle class, etc.) and it was still a struggle. What's going on here?

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