The Catastrophic Combination of Autism, Poverty, and Race on Health Outcomes

April 25, 2022

New Report Finds Over Half of Children with ASD Live in Low-Income Households 

The Autism Intervention Network on Physical Health (AIR-P), a subdivision within UCLA Health’s Department of Medicine, has released a report examining the intersection of autism, poverty, and race/ethnicity. The report specifically looked at how this combination impacts health and health care of those with the disorder. The key takeaway of this research is that household income is a very important determinant for understanding health disparities for people on the spectrum. The study reports that household income is associated with differences in health status, insurance coverage, medical expenditures, and healthcare access. Sadly, the report identified that over 50% of children with autism lived in low-income households and 25% were living in poverty, which represents a higher rate than typically developing children. Children living in low-income households were more likely to be non-white. However, the study’s authors discovered that across all income levels, children with autism experienced more challenges than children without the disorder across a broad range of health outcomes. The report also discovered: 

In the end, the study’s authors call for any efforts in reducing health inequities to be combined with efforts to improve economic stability of children, especially for those with autism who are also BIPOC.  


Original Article 

Original Study Abstract 

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