In the eye of the beholder: Reports of autism symptoms by Anglo and Latino mothers

J. Blacher, S. R. Cohen, G. Azad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Latino children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are under-identified and under- diagnosed. Children suspected of ASD (28 Anglo and 55 Latino) were assessed via the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) and the mother Intake Form. A sub- sample of 40 children were assessed with the Autism Disagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI- R). The primary objective was to determine whether Anglo and Latino mothers differed in their symptom reports, and whether their children differed in the professional classifications. Anglo mothers reported significantly more developmental concerns and ASD symptoms than Latino mothers, yet Latino children meeting diagnostic criteria for autism on the ADOS obtained higher ASD severity scores than Anglo children. The authors set forth three possible explanations for such discrepancies between parents and professionals in perceptions and reporting of autism symptoms: (1) Latino mothers are not as aware of the symptoms, and thus do not report them; and (2) Latinomothers are aware of general developmental delay but not as concerned as Anglo mothers until social communication deficits become more apparent. (3) Latino mothers parenting practices and cultural beliefs about child-rearing might mask both the ASD symptomatology exhibited by their children and their recognition of it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1648-1656
Number of pages9
JournalResearch in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Culture
  • Diagnosis
  • Ethnicity
  • Latino families
  • Parent report
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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