Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), a developmental disorder that affects communication and behavior, has been challenging children from different races. Many Black parents are unaware that a new study has revealed that although the disorder generally lasts throughout a person’s life, early detection can help improve the health outcomes of those with ASD.
The study, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network (ADDM), shows the number of children with ASD, its attributes, and the age in which it could be diagnosed. An early diagnosis could significantly help in improving outcomes in healthcare and education of those with ASD and could ultimately guide future ASD research.
Here are 4 things revealed in the new study:
#1 – There are more children with ASD than in previous years. In 2014, there was 1 diagnosed with ASD in every 59 children or 1.7% while before it ranged between 1 in 150 or 0.66% to 1 in 68 or 1.5%.
#2 – Children with ASD are not being diagnosed as early as they could be. In some areas, they have been diagnosed by the age of four while some are earlier. The data shows regional differences in diagnostic practices and services.
#3 – Children identified with ASD (especially from low income areas) don’t seem to receive comprehensive developmental evaluations as early as they could be. Fewer than half of children at the age of three receive the evaluation that is essential to provide services to address the delays connected with the disorder.
#4 – The study also found that while more White children are being diagnosed with ASD, the gap between them and Blacks are narrowing. The ADDM reports that this could indicate that there are more effective ways and efforts now that help reach minority communities in order to ensure that all children — minority or not — receive the care and services they need.