The second part of Alan Zarembo's series on autism in California for The Los Angeles Times offers disturbing data on the racial disparity in autism services for the state:
For autistic children 3 to 6 — a critical period for treating the disorder — the state Department of Developmental Services last year spent an average of $11,723 per child on whites, compared with $11,063 on Asians, $7,634 on Latinos and $6,593 on blacks.
Data from public schools, though limited, shows that whites are more likely to receive basic services such as occupational therapy to help with coordination and motor skills.
Zarembo suggests that the reason for this is that school districts are more likely to pay attention to parents who seem likely to sue:
Carmen Carley, a professional advocate for families seeking public services, said parents who present themselves as formidable opponents fare best.
“Wear a fake diamond ring,” she tells mothers who don't have a real one. “Make them think you're ready to fight. Don't show them you're weak. Don't show them you're tired.”