Early diagnosis is essential for children with autism, but minority children tend to be diagnosed later than white children, according to an article on Huffingtonpost.com.

HuffPo quotes an expert on autism who says cultural differences can lead to delayed diagnosis of autism in black children.

"The biggest thing I want parents to know is we can do something about it to help your child," says Dr. Rebecca Landa, autism director at Baltimore's Kennedy Krieger Institute.

She gives examples of cultural differences, for instance, toddlers pointing before they talk is a key early sign of normal development. But pointing is considered rude in some cultures, and some black parents might miss that important sign due to cultural beliefs and superstitions.

And some new parents don't worry if their child is slow to start talking because other members of their family were slow to talk.

Singer Toni Braxton's 9-year-old son, Diezel (pictured above), was diagnosed with autism at age 3.

“I’m lucky,” said Braxton in an interview with OK magazine. “I try to tell most parents ‘don’t dismiss the signs.’ It’s OK. When you find out early, you can get them all the help they need."

Read more »