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Study finds racial and ethnic disparities in usage of specialty services for children with autism
Date:6/16/2013

African-American children and 10 percent of Hispanic children. Minority children were less likely to have received an endoscopy or colonoscopy, and Hispanic children were much less likely to have had sleep studies or other neurological or neuropsychiatric tests.

"We know that many children with autism have gastrointestinal or sleep issues, and if those problems are not being diagnosed or treated, they can lead to additional behavior difficulties that can inhibit development," says Broder-Fingert, who is a clinical fellow in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. "Combining the challenges of accessing specialty services for any child with autism, regardless of race or ethnicity, with the recognized difficulties minority communities have accessing medical care in general can lead to these major disparities in the use of services.

"It's going to be important to see whether these differences in service use lead to differences in medical and behavioral outcomes, and we need to understand more about why this is happening," she adds. "We hope this work can help doctors be aware of these disparities and be sure to look out for patients especially minority patients who might need specialty services, and that we can help parents of children with autism be aware that these conditions may occur in their children and ask their doctors for assistance."


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Contact: Kory Dodd Zhao
kzhao2@partners.org
617-726-0274
Massachusetts General Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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