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NASP Home NASP Publications School Psychology Review (SPR) Volume 42 Issue 3 (2013) School-Based Autism Identification: P...
Volume 42, Issue 3 (2013)

School-Based Autism Identification: Prevalence, Racial Disparities, and Systemic Correlates

pp. 298—316

Abstract. This study examined prevalence and relative risk of school-based autism identification by race, and the relations of each to state characteristics. The sample was drawn from general and special education enrollment data for students ages –21 in 46 states during the 2008–2009 academic year. The results show that 1 in 228 students nationwide was identified with autism for special education eligibility, but there was substantial variability across states, with some states nine times more likely to identify students with autism than others. There were significant differences in prevalence between racial groups at the state level. Hispanic and American Indian/Alaskan Native students were often less likely to be identified with autism relative to White students, whereas Asian/Pacific Islander students were commonly more likely to be identified with autism than White students. Regression analysis indicated systemic predictors of prevalence and minority relative risk varied. Implications for research, practice, and policy are discussed.

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