Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

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Paper Session #468
CE Offered: BACB
Disparities and Inequities in Early Identification and Treatment for Black Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Monday, May 30, 2022
10:30 AM–10:55 AM
Meeting Level 2; Room 254B
Area: AUT
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Chair: Jack Scott (Florida Atlantic University)
CE Instructor: Jack Scott, Ph.D.

Disparities and Inequities in Early Identification and Treatment for Black Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Domain: Service Delivery
JACK SCOTT (Florida Atlantic University), Torica L Exume (Florida Atlantic University Center for Autism and Related Disabilities)

Racial disparities in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnoses and services exist (Mandell et al., 2007). Black children are diagnosed later, misdiagnosed, and identified with more severe ASD than White children (Jarquin et al., 2011); therefore complicating access to behavior analytic services for Black children. Black children are diagnosed with autism 1.6 years later than White children and are more likely to be misdiagnosed; contributing to reducing the likelihood of beginning behavioral early intervention. Such delay may result in Black children receiving problem behavior intervention rather than behavioral early intervention for autism. In this study, we’ll report findings from focus groups, surveys, and 1:1 interviews from black parents and professionals describing their perspectives on the identification process for Black children. We’ll report data for six Florida school districts on the participation of Black children in ASD programs and describe key impediments for their identification. We conclude with recommendations to assist behavior analysts and those concerned with equitable treatment for Black children in the early identification process. Understanding the identification of Black children through the ASD identification process will inform behavior analysts and professionals in developing culturally sensitive and effective practices to support Black parents through the ASD identification process.

Target Audience:

Targeted audience: Intermediate- experience working with individuals with ASD in the home, school, or community setting; experience supervising and conducting screenings, assessments, and evaluations; experience in working in public or private school systems.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) Learning Outcome (1): To state three key barriers to the identification of Black children with ASD. Learning Outcome (2) Identify parent-identified barriers to the assessment of a Black child and differentiate them from professionally identified barriers for such assessment. Learning Outcome (3) State three inequities that may accrue to Black children as a result of delayed or incorrect ASD assessment and eligibility determination.



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