Maternal and Child Health Research Program

Advancing Applied MCH Research

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(SDAS) Autism Intervention Challenges for Low-Income Children

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Project Number: R40 MC 22642-01
Grantee: Regents of the University of California, Los Angeles
Department/Center: Pediatrics / Child Health Policy
Project Date: 9/1/2011

Final Report

Submitted

Principal Investigator

Alice Kuo, MD, PhD
Associate Professor
UCLA Center for Healthier Children, 10990 Wilshire Blvd, Ste 900
Los Angeles, CA  90024-3953
Phone: 310-312-9053
Email: akuo@mednet.ucla.edu

Age

  • Toddlerhood (1-2 years)
  • Early Childhood (3-5 years)

Abstract

Background: Much of the focus of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) research to date has been to determine the characteristics of effective interventions, and some research has begun to look at the effectiveness of these interventions for low-income populations. As the population of young children with ASD grows, desirable outcomes will only be obtained if interventions and services are available to all children with ASD, regardless of socio-economic status. Objective: This proposed study addresses an important need in the field of ASD research, which is to identify the challenges to accessing ASD interventions and services that children with ASD from underserved families are facing. Methods: For this study, we will utilize the MCHB-funded Autism Intervention Research Network on Behavioral Health (AIR-B), which recruits children with autism from five study sites: UCLA, University of Michigan, Kennedy Krieger Institute, Florida State University and the University of Washington. A total of 160 young children with ASD will be enrolled in their study, and data were collected on sociodemographic variables, caregiver relationship, parental stress, parental expectations, ASD services and interventions and child language outcomes. Analysis: Univariate, bivariate, and regression analyses will be performed. Bivariate relationships between the dependent variables (ASD intervention and services and child language outcomes) and each independent variable (including sociodemographic, caregiver relationship, parental stress, and parental expectation characteristics) will be analyzed. Variables that are significant (p<0.05) in bivariate analyses will be included in a multivariate analyses. Multivariate regression analyses will be conducted to examine the predictors leading to greater completion of intervention and greater language outcomes for underserved and under-resourced children with ASD. All analyses will control for socio-economic status and race/ethnicity of the target child's family. Significance: As more effective interventions have been developed for children with ASD, identifying these children as early as possible is a priority. Race/ethnicity and socioeconomic status may affect the timely diagnosis of ASD, and recent studies suggest possible disparities in the diagnosis of ASD in these populations. Because early detection and timely initiation of ASD therapy are essential components of successful therapy, ethnic barriers to access to ASD services and interventions have potentially profound implications for the children and families involved.

Publications

Listed is descending order by year published.

Halfon N, Kuo AA. What DSM-5 could mean to children with autism and their families. JAMA Pediatr. 2013 Jul;167(7):608-13. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.2188. Review. PubMed PMID: 23645093.

Sudhinaraset A, Kuo A. Parents' perspectives on the role of pediatricians in autism diagnosis. J Autism Dev Disord. 2013 Mar;43(3):747-8. doi: 10.1007/s10803-012-1591-z. PubMed PMID: 22790426.

Keywords

Access to Health Care, Autism, Early Intervention, Developmental Disabilities, Health Disparities, Parent-Child Relationship, Special Health Care Needs, Stress, Cognitive & Linguistic Development

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