Examining Racial Representation in the Assessment of Autism

This session is from the NASP 2021 Annual Convention

  • PMD: 1,8
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Session 3: Promoting Diversity and Multicultural Competence in School Psychology

Learner Objectives

This session will help participants…

  1. develop a test battery for assessing ASD with racial minority students.
  2. understand potential biases in ASD identification.
  3. promote equitable access to services for ASD.


The underrepresentation of females diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is well-documented, and bias in ASD identification may extend beyond gender. Black children are diagnosed with ASD less often, later in life, and with more severe symptoms. This is problematic as children likely miss the positive outcomes from early intensive behavioral intervention. This presentation will focus on one possible cause of the racial discrepancy in ASD identification, the tools used to identify ASD.



Paige D. Laich, William James College
Robyn B. Bratica, William James College


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