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Experts: Autism Diagnosis, Treatment Less Accessible to Low-Income Families

June 05, 2014

(June 5, 2014) - A panel of experts addressed disparities in autism awareness and diagnosis in underprivileged communities at an event on Tuesday at University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford, Conn. Jamitha Fields, vice president of community affairs for Autism Speaks, gave the keynote speech at the event and participated as one of the panelists.

Fields told the audience, "Autism has no known cure or cause. “Here's what we do know: we can reliably diagnose autism at 24 months, yet our average age of diagnosis is four and a half years old. For Latinos, it’s six years.”
Fields shared information about Autism Speaks' Early Access to Care initiative and showed a spot from the "Maybe" campaign, a series of public service advertisements (PSAs) designed to reach African American and Hispanic parents.

Panelist Brenetta Henry, an advocate of African Caribbean Parents of Children with Disabilities, shared her personal experience. "I tried to get my son diagnosed at the age of 2, when I noticed concerns,” Henry said. “But he wasn't diagnosed until the age of 9.”

Learn more about the event from the CT Mirror here and watch Jamitha Fields keynote address here.