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Accuracy and Equity in Autism Screening, Identification and Referral

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Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) now affects at least 1 in 59 children. While we know that we can often detect ASD by age 2, the average age of diagnosis remains 4 years old and is even later for racial/ethnic minority, rural and low-income youth and girls. This is concerning as early diagnosis can lead to earlier intervention, which is known to significantly improve outcomes for a child’s health and well-being. 

In this Research at a Glance brief, we review two PolicyLab and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia studies that provide insight into the reality of screening for ASD and the need to address disparities in screening and referrals to ensure that children with ASD can get the care they need as early as possible. 


Wallis KE, Guthrie W