Parent and Professional Experiences Supporting African-American Children with Autism


While the identification of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has stabilized at 1 in 59 children in the USA, and children can now be diagnosed reliably with ASD at 2 years old, African-American children are less likely to be diagnosed with ASD. Once African-American children with ASD are identified, there is a latency between diagnosis and access to services when compared to European American children. In an effort to investigate these disparities, this qualitative study explored the experiences and perceptions of African-American parents of children with ASD. This study also explored the experiences and perceptions of professionals who support African-American children with ASD and their families. Findings indicate that (a) participants identified few facilitators to service access, and (b) both parents and healthcare providers perceived similar barriers and facilitators to early diagnoses and service access. Implications for parents, healthcare providers, and educators are discussed.

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Correspondence to Jamie N. Pearson.

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Pearson, J.N., Meadan, H., Malone, K.M. et al. Parent and Professional Experiences Supporting African-American Children with Autism. J. Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities 7, 305–315 (2020).

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  • African-American children
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Healthcare
  • Disparities
  • Access to services