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Diagnosis often missed for Hispanic children with developmental delay, autism
Date:8/28/2012

re divided into three groups: children with autism, children with developmental delay but not autism, and children with typical development. All diagnoses were confirmed or changed based on evaluations by MIND Institute clinicians.

The evaluations of Hispanic children were conducted by bicultural and bilingual clinicians in Spanish or English, depending on the primary language used at home. The results for children with at least one Hispanic parent of any race were compared to the results for children of non-Hispanic white parents.

"Our goal was to use the CHARGE Study to help fill the gaps in research on autism for Hispanics so we can better understand what autism is like for this growing U.S. population," said Irva Hertz-Picciotto, professor of public health sciences, researcher with the UC Davis MIND Institute and principal investigator of CHARGE. "No other study of autism has included such a large proportion of Hispanic children."

When the outcomes for Hispanic children were compared to non-Hispanic children, the results revealed more similarities than differences in terms of autism profiles, including diagnostic scores, language function, whether or not children lost acquired skills and overall intellectual, social and physical functioning.

A striking outcome, however, was that 6.3 percent of Hispanic children enrolled in the study who were selected randomly out of the general population met criteria for developmental delay, compared with only 2.4 percent of non-Hispanic participants, which is the expected percentage. This raised concerns among the researchers that many Hispanic children with developmental delays may not be getting the services they need.

For both Hispanic and non-Hispanic children, there was a high percentage (about 19 percent overall) of Hispanic and non-Hispanic children recruited for the study with developmental delay who actually met criteria for autism, raising concerns about adequate acce
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Contact: Karen Finney
karen.finney@ucdmc.ucdavis.edu
916-734-9064
University of California - Davis Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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