Impact of Sociodemographic Factors on the Access to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Related Services

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Current research has consistently suggested disparities exist in ASD prevalence among children of different race/ethnicities and socioeconomic statuses. These disparities are largely due to inability of marginalized populations to access necessary resources, and in the case of race/ethnicity also stem from implicit bias and systemic racism in the healthcare system. To date, no work has comprehensively reviewed these studies to summarize and analyze their findings. Thus, this review will serve to fill that gap in current research. The following review includes twenty-five primary research studies published in the United States in 2005 or later. These studies evaluated a variety of different sociodemographic factors and the impact they had on accessing ASD related care, most often diagnosis and intervention. Overall, this paper found that children of minority races/ethnicities (particularly Black and Hispanic/Latino) as well children with low socioeconomic statuses consistently experienced more barriers in access to care for ASD related resources. As a result, these groups often have lower prevalence rates, later diagnoses, and lower utilization of intervention services. This review will guide future research to further understand and eventually diminish the disparities observed.



Autism spectrum disorder, Sociodemographic factors, Socioeconomic factors, Race, Ethnicity, Diagnosis, Treatment, Intervention, Disparity