(STUDY FINDS) -- NEWARK, N.J. — Individuals on the autism spectrum are just as capable as anyone else of having an enjoyable, meaningful life. However, it’s important that children who show signs of autism be properly diagnosed as quickly as possible, as early detection can go a long way towards improving quality of life. That’s why the findings of a new study are so concerning. Researchers at Rutgers University say that an astounding one-fourth of U.S. children under the age of eight with autism spectrum disorder are not being diagnosed. The majority of these undiagnosed children are African-American or Hispanic.
Overall, these findings indicate that while autism awareness is on the rise, a great deal of work still must be done. Particularly in black and Hispanic communities across the nation.
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Education and medical records for over 265,000 children who were eight years old in 2014 were analyzed for the study. Included areas featured a variety of states, such as Wisconsin, Maryland, and Arizona, among many others. The study’s authors looked to see how many of those children showed signs of autism but were not formally diagnosed or receiving any medical services.