For Black Kids, Autism Caught Late in the Game
The solution, according to Geschwind, is a change in the way the system handles these children. Better access to qualified professionals is needed, and if there is racial or cultural prejudice, it must be overcome, he said.
The report was published online on August 24 in the newspaper Pediatrics.
Dr Sarabeth Broder-Fingert is Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the Boston University School of Medicine, who has co-authored an accompanying editorial. “We believe there are multiple issues of systemic racism that are likely contributing to the delays,” she said.
In addition, for parents whose insurance is insured by Medicaid, it can be difficult to find a doctor who purchases this insurance because of its low reimbursement, noted Broder-Fingert.
The practical consequence of a late diagnosis is to miss a treatment that can help preschool children.
“You would imagine that if you got 20 hours of treatment per week, the difference if you’re diagnosed even a year later, you’re missing 1,000 hours of treatment,” Broder-Fingert said.
“In this study, it was rather two to three years, or 2,000 to 3,000 hours of treatment that these children miss, and one can imagine how this could have an extremely important impact on their life”, has t -she adds.
Broder-Fingert believes that more providers qualified to diagnose autism are needed, especially those seeing black children.
“If you have any concerns about your child’s development, unfortunately right now the system we have in place is not doing its job and not detecting and supporting you and your family and getting a diagnosis as well as we would like, ”she said.
“For now, parents are going to have to stand up for their children, especially parents from marginalized communities, as we continue to work to improve the system so that the burden is no longer on the family, but actually on the family. system to provide the support families need to get diagnosed, ”Broder-Fingert said.
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