Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental condition that involves persistent challenges in social interaction, speech and nonverbal communication, and restricted/repetitive behaviors. The effects of ASD and the severity of symptoms are different in each person. I read an article about how Hispanic and black children are diagnosed with autism later, leading to treatment delays. Do you think this might be a cultural issue? Let’s talk about it…

Tracy Sadzikowski:
“This happens with any family. It starts with the parents who spend the most time with their child. I knew at age one my son was not like other children. And I had to fight his first pediatrician to give him help because he didn’t speak his first word until he was three. The doctor said some kids one day will decide to talk when they’re ready. I didn’t buy it because I know my son. I took him for a second opinion and became his biggest advocate for the best treatment out there I can grab my hands on. I’ve met many parents who choose to live in denial and not get their child help. It’s a lot of work hours of phone calls to get referrals and being very proactive in his education.”

Yisvi Rodriguez:
“I’ll have to disagree here. My son started to show signs very early in age. Before even being 2. His doctor and his teachers did everything to help him. Ados exam is done early and early steps helped also. Got his complete diagnosis after he turned 3 and he was transferred to the pre-k department at our elementary school at 3 and stayed 2 years. Never had any problems at all. We are Hispanic. I think it depends on what kind of doctor and school your child is involved with. I was blessed with both caring for him very much!”

MK Pascoe Matthews:
“It is not my wish to be unkind as I am an autism mom as well- but one experience does not represent 20,000, in fact, conclusions, are drawn from studies/research/data.”

Kevin Abraham:
“I really hope you have multiple languages available other than English and Spanish. I assure you there are far more cultures in the U.S. that need the info aside from the two.”

Brandess Feuchster:
“Many cultures deny it. I have a friend in Egypt and they barely started to acknowledge it. Nobody wants an official diagnosis because they are concerned that it will affect their ability to marry.”

Jennifer Megan:
“I can’t believe some of the comments. I’d be willing to bet there is a socioeconomic correlation for lack of services. I’m middle class and I had to pay 8k out of pocket for an Ados Mullen’s and Vineland to cut an 18 month – 2-year wait, everyone can’t do that. We need better access to testing and no games from insurance companies. I can’t even tell you what we have been through but it is a full-time job managing insurance alone. I am on the phone with Aetna daily fighting for my child with level 3 autism for her treatment and better care. Long before I was on the phone hourly begging for testing. Then I had to wait for the report and evaluation. The wait for treatment was ridiculous. I consider myself privileged. This is an expensive diagnosis. The socioeconomic correlation has been studied with race and it has to be addressed. Everyone deserves access to prompt testing and access to affordable treatment.”

Karla Castro:
“They are being diagnosed later because parents are refusing to accept the truth. Also because many schools give parents such a hard time in regards to services.”

Jason Haddad:
“What about Middle Eastern and Armenian families though?
Getting you to read by making it appear as though racism is a factor.”

Wynter Thompson:
“My son started receiving services when he was about 16 months so it really depends on the family.”

Julio C Velez:
“I will respectfully disagree with this one. It’s up to the parents to pay attention and to know the signs. I noticed at around 12+ months. Awareness goes a long way in getting needed services asap.”