Research Article  |   April 2017
Detection and Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder by Occupational Therapy Practitioners: Addressing Racial Disparity in Diagnosis
Author Affiliations
  • Varleisha D. Gibbs, OTD, OTR/L, is Associate Professor and Chair and Director, Master’s of Occupational Therapy Program, Wesley College, Dover, DE; varleisha.gibbs@wesley.edu
Article Information
Advocacy / Autism/Autism Spectrum Disorder / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Departments / The Issue Is …
Research Article   |   April 2017
Detection and Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder by Occupational Therapy Practitioners: Addressing Racial Disparity in Diagnosis
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, April 2017, Vol. 71, 7103360010p1-7103360010p4. doi:10.5014/ajot.2017.016303
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, April 2017, Vol. 71, 7103360010p1-7103360010p4. doi:10.5014/ajot.2017.016303
Abstract

As the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) continues to rise, racial disparities remain in age of diagnosis and initiation of treatment. Therefore, occupational therapy practitioners should examine cultural perceptions related to disparities in ASD diagnosis. This article investigates the role that practitioners may play in this disparity by asking, “Are occupational therapy practitioners contributing to the late diagnosis of children with ASD who are members of particular racial or ethnic groups?” Correlations among practitioners’ detection of symptoms, parents’ perceptions, and evaluator influences are investigated. By examining these factors, practitioners may gain better insight into these disparities and therefore provide more effective advocacy regarding early diagnosis and treatment access.