Ethnicity and Autism?

Thanks to a comment by reader DrFoo (AKA ‘Rollen’), I was alerted to an interesting study about variation in the rates of Autism in different ethnic populations. The news releases say that the incidence of Autism among Hispanics is lower than it is among non-Hispanic white peers.

These news releases refer to a study entitled “Explaining Low Rates of Autism Among Hispanic Schoolchildren in Texas” by Raymond Palmer and colleagues. Here’s the abstract:

In data from the Texas Educational Agency and the Health Resources and Services Administration, we found fewer autism diagnoses in school districts with higher percentages of Hispanic children. Our results are consistent with previous reports of autism rates 2 to 3 times as high among non-Hispanic Whites as among Hispanics. Socioeconomic factors failed to explain lower autism prevalence among Hispanic schoolchildren in Texas. These findings raise questions: Is autism underdiagnosed among Hispanics? Are there protective factors associated with Hispanic ethnicity?

I’ve not had time to examine the issue closely, but I have a few links:

The full citation is close to what follows…

Palmer, R. F., Walker, T., Mandell, D., Bayles, B., Miller, C. S. (2009). Explaining low rates of autism among Hispanic schoolchildren in Texas. American Journal of Public Health, 100, pp-to-come. 10.2105/AJPH.2008.150565

3 Responses to “Ethnicity and Autism?”


  • I find this so interesting since I teach at a very diverse school. The children diagnosed with autism at my school are almost evenly split between Hispanic children and Vietnamese children. We spend a lot of time debating whether or not we find children eligible for Autism due to cultural factors before we determine an eligibility. However, even after these long debates we still notice the large prevalence in children from Vietnam with autism. We wonder if those families left Vietnam when they realized their child was not developing appropriately because of the social stigma in not having a typically developing child. Was there something from the Vietnam war that caused a higher percentage of autism, or is it just the sample of children whose families leave the country and come to our school? I always wonder about the difference between the children from Vietnam or South America whose families decide to come to the US and the children whose families stay in their countries.

  • You Tube has some very educational videos showing what severe autism is all about and how to discern when a child is misdiaggnosed with autism or the parents are pushing for diagnosis for wrong reasons; The you tube video is called ‘autism epidemic out of control” also “severe autism when there is no answer” People really need to be more aware of what’s going on in autism community. The fraud, misunderstandings, overdiagnosis, pretenders of autism, etc..is just ridiculous epidemic. There was even cases of illegal aliens being “coached” to get their kids diagnosed with autism so they’d have a better chance of getting more free services and not being deported! That’s about as bad as the illegal aliens going to the pro life centers, not because they are getting abortions, but because they’ve been told it’s another place to get something for free!

  • Hi
    Rick Collingwood,which I would like to share with you, had a breakthrough with a Andrew ,with non-verbal Autism.It is an amazing story and outcome Read Andrew story hear [failing spam link for hypnotism removed–Ed.] I personally think with a combination of different therapies and interventions ,one maybe the one that works with different children, It is a very interesting thought.We all know even with people in general ,some therapies work for some and not others and the underlying connection to that person maybe the link to the answer,which is required.This is my personal opinion ,I love to hear your comments on this.
    Thanks
    Giovanni

Comments are currently closed.