Project Detail
Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC) logo
Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) logo

Early social communication characteristics of ASD in diverse cultures in the US and Africa  

There is a pressing need to improve early detection of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) so that families can access intensive, appropriate intervention services as early as possible. However, studies indicate that important racial and ethnic disparities exist in the identification and diagnosis of children with ASD in the US, which impact access to services. This research investigation is a foundational study of early social communication markers of ASD in children from two diverse cultures from two different countries- Latino immigrants in Southeastern U.S. and the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province of South Africa. The expected outcomes of this study will have significance for the field by identifying behavioral markers that distinguish young Latino children in the Southeastern U.S. and African children from KwaZulu-Natal with ASD from children with typical development from those cultures. Cultural differences may be evident in the behavioral phenotype of ASD, recognition and interpretation of symptoms by caregivers, the decisions parents make regarding evaluation and treatment, and interactions between families and the healthcare system. The results of this research will lead to culturally sensitive screening and evaluation methods that may decrease the age at which all children with ASD are diagnosed. Project Status


Funder National Institutes of Health
Fiscal Year Funding $238,233.00
Project Number 1R21DC010926-01
Principal Investigator Wetherby, Amy
Received ARRA Funding? Yes
Strategic Plan Question Question 1: When Should I Be Concerned? (Diagnosis)
Strategic Plan Objective Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding. 1SB. Validate and improve the sensitivity and specificity of new or existing screening and diagnostic tools, including comparison of general developmental screening versus autism-specific screening tools, in both high risk and population-based samples through studies of the following community populations that are diverse in terms of age, socio-economic status, race, ethnicity, characteristics of ASD, and general level of functioning by 2012. IACC Recommended Budget: $5,400,000 over 3 years.
Federal or Private? Federal
Institution Florida State University
State/Country Florida
Web Link 1 Early social communication characteristics of ASD in diverse cultures in the US and Africa (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
History/Related Projects Early social communication characteristics of ASD in diverse cultures in the US and Africa | $226,872.00 | 2010 | 5R21DC010926-02