One in four kids with autism go undiagnosed, study shows

About 25 percent of children younger than 8 years with autism spectrum disorder, mostly in the black and Hispanic communities, are not diagnosed, according to a study published in Autism Research.

Researchers conducted the study using data from the Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network, a surveillance program funded by the CDC. They examined the education and medical records of 266,000 children who were 8 years old in 2014.

They found 4,500 children who showed symptoms of the disorder, of which 25 percent were not clinically diagnosed. A majority of undiagnosed children were black or Hispanic boys.

"There may be various reasons for the disparity, from communication or cultural barriers between minority parents and physicians, to anxiety about the complicated diagnostic process and fear of stigma," said Walter Zahorodny, PhD, an associate professor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark and a study co-author.

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