University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > ARClub Talks > The cross-cultural challenges in the identification and diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder: a conceptual framework

The cross-cultural challenges in the identification and diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder: a conceptual framework

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Identifying and diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be affected by cultural and socioeconomic factors. Up until recently, autism research was heavily skewed towards western, high income countries; culturally appropriate screening and diagnostic instruments for ASD are still unavailable in most low and middle income settings, where the majority of the global autism population lives. To date a clear overview of the possible cultural and socioeconomic factors that may affect the process of identifying and diagnosing individuals with ASD is missing. This study aims to clarify these underlying interrelated factors, by proposing a conceptual framework. The presentation will describe the conceptual framework, which is based on a multidisciplinary approach bringing together relevant literature from ASD research as well as research in the fields of global mental health, cultural psychiatry and intellectual disability. The resulting framework considers the identification and diagnostic process at four interrelated levels: i) the expression, ii) recognition, iii) interpretation and iv) reporting of autism symptoms, and describes potential cultural and socioeconomic factors associated with each of these levels. By providing this multidisciplinary overview it is hoped the conceptual framework may function as a springboard for the development of culturally appropriate screening and diagnostic instruments, and inform future research directions.

This talk is part of the ARClub Talks series.

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