Cultural biases have, for decades, blinded  researchers to autism in black children and adults.

Autism in Minorities: A History of Misdiagnosis

In a powerful new essay for Undark, Steve Silberman, author of the 2015 book “NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity,” uncovers the troubling history of clinical bias and misdiagnosis of African-Americans with autism. Long thought to be a “white” affliction, Silberman explains how clearly autistic black children were diagnosed with anything but — from attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder to generic “mental retardation.” Readers can share their thoughts on this sad legacy in the comments below.