African-Americans and the Need for Autism Awareness

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Journey to Wellness interviews Dr. Willis Holloway about the importance of autism awareness in African-Americans.

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A recent U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study report estimated that one in 88 children are affected by autism, Asperger’s Disorder or Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS).

Autism spectrum disorders are a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. Autism spectrum disorders affect each person differently and can range from very mild to severe mental impairment.

Rates of autism spectrum disorders are on the rise globally, and more specifically, in the African American community.

  • According to a series of studies by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in every 98 African American children is diagnosed with autism.
  • African American children are diagnosed 1.6 years later than white children.

While there are no drugs currently approved by the FDA to treat the core symptoms of autism spectrum disorders, there are several pediatric autism research studies ongoing.Across the nation,these pediatric clinical research trials have been approved by ethics committees to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of investigational drugs.  One such study is ConnectMe, the largest-ever global clinical research program in children ages 6 to 12 with autism, Asperger’s Disorder and PDD-NOS.   By spreading autism awareness, we can help families with affected children seek more information. For information on clinical research studies please visit the following websites:

Dr. Willis Holloway is the president of Cutting Edge Research group in Oklahoma City, OK. He has more than 15 years of clinical experience and has served as principal investigator for more than 100 research studies.


1Mandell, D.S., Listerud J., Levy S.E., Pinto-Martin J.A. Race differences in the age at diagnosis among Medicaid-eligible children with autism. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 2002 Dec;41(12):1447-53.
2 “Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDS): Facts About ASDS.” Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Web. 21 Aug, 2012. <



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