Examining Services for Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Parent Satisfaction and Predictors of Service Utilization

Laura Lee McIntyre, Patricia K. Zemantic

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the fastest growing group of neurodevelopmental disorders in childhood. Earlier detection means an increased need for early intervention and other educational services. This study examined what services a sample of young children with ASD received, what variables predicted service utilization, and how satisfied parents were with the services. Sixty children (2–7 years) and their families from the Northwestern United States participated in the study. Results suggest that, on average, children received 13 h of educational and therapeutic services per week, with younger children receiving fewer services than older children. Child age, atypical behavior, and family income predicted number of service hours received. Children’s adaptive behavior and autism symptoms did not predict service hours. Although services received were, by most standards, minimal and far below best practice recommendations, parents reported high satisfaction, especially for their toddlers and preschool-aged children. Implications and future directions are described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)727-734
Number of pages8
JournalEarly Childhood Education Journal
Volume45
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Best practices
  • Early intervention
  • Service utilization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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