Racial and ethnic disparities in quality of health care among children with autism and other developmental disabilities

Intellect Dev Disabil. 2012 Aug;50(4):287-99. doi: 10.1352/1934-9556-50.4.287.


We examined racial and ethnic disparities in quality of care for children with autism and other developmental disabilities and whether disparities varied for children with autism compared to children with other developmental disabilities. Analyzing data from the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs (N = 4,414), we compared Black and Latino children to White children. We found racial and ethnic disparities on 5 of 6 quality outcomes. The interaction between race and disability status indicated that disparities in quality indicators were exacerbated among families of children with autism. These analyses suggest that children with autism, particularly those who are Latino and Black, face greater challenges in receiving high-quality health care.

MeSH terms

  • Autistic Disorder / therapy*
  • Blacks / statistics & numerical data
  • Child
  • Developmental Disabilities / therapy*
  • Ethnicity / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Healthcare Disparities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Quality of Health Care / standards
  • Quality of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Racial Groups / statistics & numerical data*
  • United States
  • Whites / statistics & numerical data