Minority toddlers with autism being diagnosed later than white kids

Minority toddlers have more language, communication and gross motor skill delays than white toddlers, according to a new study from Kennedy Krieger Institute.

Previous research concluded that children of African American, Hispanic and Asian descent with autism are not getting the same early diagnosis as while children.

“We found the toddlers in the minority group were significantly further behind than the non-minority group in development of language and motor skills and showed more severe autism symptoms in their communication abilities,” said Dr. Rebecca Landa, director of the Center for Autism and Related Disorders at Kennedy Krieger Institute, in a statement.

“It’s really troubling when we look at these data alongside diagnosis statistics because they suggest that children in need of early detection and intervention are not getting it.”

Landa and other say previous studies show autism can be detected as early as 14 months of age. But she said cultural differences about what people believe is typical development in children is different, as is their relationship with physicians. So addressing these differences can help improve service to minority children.

But she also said the possibility of biological differences should be investigated.

The study of 84 toddlers with autism was published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

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