The analysis revealed that in neighborhoods where white children make up the highest proportion of the autism cases, the children’s condition tends to be reflected in both types of records. The same is true for areas in which the mothers of children with autism typically have college degrees.
For every 10 percent rise in the proportion of children with autism who are white or have mothers with at least a bachelor’s degree, there was a 6 percent increase in the odds that the children who lived in that area had both school and medical records that reflected their condition.
The researchers also used data from the 2000 U.S. Census to analyze the overall demographics of each tract. They found that the more Hispanic residents and the fewer residents with a college degree in an area, the less likely children with autism were to have both types of diagnostic records. This finding held up even after the researchers controlled for a number of potentially confounding factors, such as income.