The purpose of this study is to describe longitudinal population trends and correlates of racial and ethnic health care disparities of Black and Latino children with autism and other developmental disabilities (DD) and to identify longitudinal trends and correlates of health care disparities among Latino children of Spanish- and English-speaking parents. To address these aims, we will analyze three outcome domains: (a) health care access, (b) health care service utilization, and (c) health care quality. Identifying longitudinal population trends in these disparities and their correlates is an imperative first step in developing effective interventions to ensure the well-being of Black and Latino children with autism/DD.
To address the deficit in the research on racial and ethnic health care disparities for children with autism/DD, we will analyze data from five waves of national surveys: the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs for 2005/06 and 2009/10; and the National Survey of Children’s Health for 2003, 2007 and 2012. This cost-effective approach will yield timely, high-quality information. This novel project will be the first investigation of longitudinal population trends in racial and ethnic disparities among a nationally-representative sample of children with autism/DD. The proposed study can stimulate progress in a short timeframe by providing current evidence of the extent and correlates of population trends in racial and ethnic health care disparities in a nationally-representative sample of children with autism/DD. In turn, this evidence will inform the development and testing of specific, targeted policy and practice interventions to reduce disparities and promote the functioning and well-being of these children.