According to the CDC, black children are 30 percent less like than white children to be identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Hispanic children are 50 percent less likely. But the percentage of children among all races that are likely to have ASD is relatively the same, which means that there’s a large number of cases going unidentified in people of color.
Camille Proctor saw that this was a problem and devoted herself to help fix it. She first got involved in the mission to make sure children are being screened and treated for autism when her own son, Ari, was diagnosed, according to the Huffington Post. She’s now founded The Color of Autism Foundation to play her part in addressing and educating others about autism in communities of color.
“I just want to make sure that children of color get screened for autism and get into therapy,” Proctor told HuffPost.
Supporting a loved one that’s been diagnosed with ASD can be difficult for multiple reasons. For starters, Proctor was once spending $2,000 for Ari’s treatments alone. She also struggled to find a daycare service that would be willing to give Ari the attention he required.
“I read all of these things,” she said. “I thought, if he has all of these [resources], then he’s going to get better. But the problem was, all the things he needed to get better were difficult to get for him. There are limited places where you can get speech and language therapy, and ABA therapy.”
Now, Proctor is able to use The Color of Autism Foundation to help spread both information necessary financial aid and other services to families through small grants.
Seeking diagnosis and treatment is still something that the communities of color appear to struggle with the most. Hopefully organizations like Proctors will help connect people with the assistance they may not even be aware they need.
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