Objective: Social cognition does not exist within a vacuum. One’s culture and surrounding social environment influence 1) development of social skills and behaviors, and 2) society’s expectations regarding “normal” behavior versus behaviors consistent with the diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Use of a comprehensive cultural framework such as Fujii’s ECLECTIC model undergirds valid ASD testing by enhancing clinician awareness of potential biases during clinical decision-making and by supporting culturally relevant recommendations. Method: Four diverse pediatric patients presenting for concerns of ASD are described. Neuropsychological test data and salient cultural considerations are presented within the ECLECTIC framework. Results: The cases illustrate relevant cultural factors critical to the ASD assessment for youth with wide diversity (Southeast Asian, Deaf, Black, Hispanic/Latinx, and Chinese cultures) and varied contextual factors (adoption, underlying Down syndrome). The ECLETIC model better allows integration of salient factors such as cognition, family dynamics, behaviors, educational services, and language dominance. Conclusions: Unrecognized ethnocentric biases may shadow the complexities and nuances involved in ASD assessment across cultures. Such errors are minimized using a comprehensive cultural framework to guide equitable neuropsychological services. The ECLECTIC model’s emphasis on cultural and contextual factors results in more accurate findings and more individualized planning for the patient. Recommendations for clinical application are provided.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health