Minority children often lack access to a comprehensive assessment and appropriate treatment. Physicians and other health care providers from the majority white community are often not well-trained to provide culturally appropriate, family-centered health care within the community of a minority child with NDD/ASD. Within poor minority health care communities there are few health care professionals who have the requisite training and experience to manage health care delivery systems for children with NDD/ASD. Parents from poorer communities often lack the knowledge and confidence necessary to advocate for their own children’s health care. Finally, as youth with NDD/ASD approach transition to adulthood they often fall through the cracks in service delivery systems. These disparities are ever-present for children and youth in MN.
Care of individuals with developmental disabilities represents a disproportional share of the health care dollar. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, approximately 10% of all children in the US 5-20 years of age are identified as having a disability; however they account for a disproportionate share of total child health costs. Children with ASD, when compared with typically developing children, have significantly more yearly outpatient visits (41.5 vs. 3.3), physician visits (8.0 vs. 2.2), and number of prescribed medications (21.8 vs. 2.1). (Liptak, Stuart, Auinger, 2004).