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California Autism Prevalence by County and Race/Ethnicity: Declining Trends Among Wealthy Whites

Authors
  • Nevison, Cynthia1
  • Parker, William2
  • 1 University of Colorado,
  • 2 Duke University Medical Center,
Type
Published Article
Journal
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Publication Date
Mar 19, 2020
Volume
50
Issue
11
Pages
4011–4021
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s10803-020-04460-0
PMID: 32193763
PMCID: PMC7557477
Source
PubMed Central
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

County-level ASD prevalence was estimated using an age-resolved snapshot from the California Department of Developmental Services (DDS) for birth years 1993–2013. ASD prevalence increased among all children across birth years 1993–2000 but plateaued or declined thereafter among whites from wealthy counties. In contrast, ASD rates increased continuously across 1993–2013 among whites from lower income counties and Hispanics from all counties. Both white ASD prevalence and rate of change in prevalence were inversely correlated to county income from birth year 2000–2013 but not 1993–2000. These disparate trends within the dataset suggest that wealthy white parents, starting around 2000, may have begun opting out of DDS in favor of private care and/or making changes that effectively lowered their children’s risk of ASD. Electronic supplementary material The online version of this article (10.1007/s10803-020-04460-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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