In a series of reports published in December, the L.A. Times found that California’s Department of Developmental Services spent between $11,000 and $12,000 on services for white and Asian autistic children ages 3 to 6. DDS spent about $7,600 on Latino children and $6,594 on African American children. State lawmakers ordered yesterday’s hearing in response to the Times investigation.

California lawmakers and advocates for children with autism assailed the state Department of Developmental Services during a hearing Monday over the deep racial and ethnic disparities in how it spends money on the disorder. “Families that are already the most disadvantaged get the least,” Martha Matthews, an attorney for the advocacy group Public Counsel, testified before a panel of legislators in Sacramento.

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Lisa Aliferis

Lisa Aliferis is the founding editor of KQED's State of Health blog. Since 2011, she's been writing stories and editing them for the site. Before taking up blogging, she toiled for many years producing health stories for television, including Dateline NBC and San Francisco's CBS affiliate, KPIX-TV. She also wrote up a handy guide to the Affordable Care Act, especially for Californians. You can follow her on Twitter: @laliferis

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