Access to most autism-specific interventions requires a diagnosis by a healthcare provider and is highly dependent on race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, geographic region, access to specialists, and coverage from insurance providers.14,15,16 And although early intervention may not require
an autism diagnosis, without it, services are often limited. This can be especially burdensome for families who do not live near specialists or cannot take the necessary time from work or other activities.17,18

The inherent limitations of current ASD diagnostic approaches demonstrates the need for efficient, practical solutions that equip PCPs and families/caregivers to expedite diagnosis, improve access to intervention, and reduce confounding bias. The current diagnostic process is widely variable
and there are dozens of autism diagnostic tools with differing functionalities designed for use in the specialty care setting.19

Currently, the demand for diagnosticians far exceeds capacity, leading to waits of up to 5 months
after a referral.20,21 This delay, in addition to the lengthiness of evaluations, results,
on average, in a 3-year difference between the earliest signs of ASD and diagnosis. And the prevalence
of autism continues to grow. One in 54 children aged 8 years is diagnosed with autism in the United
states, a 178% increase since the year 2000.23,24

Additionally, there are deep inequities in autism diagnosis. While a reliable ASD diagnosis can be
obtained for a child as young as 18 months, multiple factors have driven the average age of diagnosis
to 4 years, 3 months, and this has remained unchanged for over 20 years.25,26,27,28
Children who are
non-white, female, or are from rural areas or disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds are often
diagnosed even later or missed altogether.29

African American children are 19% less likely to receive an autism diagnosis than white children, and non-white Hispanic children are 65% less likely to receive an autism diagnosis than white children.30

25% of Black or Latino children did not receive a diagnosis

In a study of over 4,000 children under the age of 8, up to 25% of the children did not receive a
diagnosis (with most of them being Black or Latino) and, on average, autism was diagnosed in girls one
and a half years later than boys.31