By MICHELLE DIAMENT
Hispanic and African-American children are often diagnosed with autism at older ages. Now, a new advertising campaign aims to raise awareness in an attempt to reverse the trend.
A series of public service announcements launching this week are specifically targeted to Hispanic and African-American parents.
Dubbed “Maybe,” the ads encourage parents to talk to their pediatrician if they notice their child failing to make eye contact, babble or smile.
While autism is not considered to be more prevalent in any one ethnic or racial group as compared to another, research shows that white kids tend to be diagnosed earlier than others.
“We know we can diagnose children sooner, and the earlier the diagnosis occurs, the faster a child can start receiving intervention, resulting in better outcomes,” said Liz Feld, president of Autism Speaks in a statement. “Many parents still don’t know what red flags to look for in their children’s behavior and development. If a parent has a concern, they should not wait — they should talk to a pediatrician immediately.”
The PSAs were created by BBDO and LatinWorks for Autism Speaks and are available in English and Spanish. They are expected to appear nationwide on a pro bono basis through a partnership with the Ad Council.