Investigating disparities in the age of diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Perryman, Twyla Yatai.
    • Affiliation: School of Medicine, Department of Allied Health Sciences, Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences
  • Research has documented later ages of diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) for children from minority backgrounds. In an effort to understand what may lead to differences in age of diagnosis or recognition of symptoms, researchers have mainly examined child related factors such as severity, co-existing medical conditions, or cognitive skills. However, very few studies have explored the impact parental factors such as empowerment levels, or reactions to and attributions of symptoms, have on the age of diagnosis of ASD. The objectives of this study were to investigate timing of diagnosis for African American and White children with ASD while examining associations between caregiver related factors, cultural group, and age of diagnosis. Using survey methods, a total of 168 North Carolina families were recruited and met inclusion criteria for the study. Caregivers reported on diagnostic factors, empowerment, and views related to initial ASD-related symptoms. There were no statistically significant group differences found in the age at diagnosis of ASD. Factors associated with age of diagnosis were: severity of symptoms, caregivers' level of worry about initial ASD symptoms, and caregivers' attributions of the symptoms to behavioral problems. These findings highlight the value of caregivers' roles in the early identification of ASD, and provide implications for promoting public awareness of symptoms related to ASD.
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  • In Copyright
  • Watson, Linda R.
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Open access

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