Research Article: Family experiences through the autism diagnostic process
Sansosti, F., Lavik, K., & Sansosti, J. (2012). Family experiences through the autism diagnostic process. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, doi: 10.1177/1088357612446860
The primary aim of this study was to investigate common family experiences during the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnostic process, and the child and family variables that may relate to different diagnostic outcomes. A secondary aim of this study was to evaluate families’ knowledge of the research support for various interventions. To investigate these two foci, 16 families of children aged 7 years and younger with an ASD provided information pertaining to their experiences during the diagnostic process. Results indicated that families reported a 2-year lag between first noticing delays in their children’s behavior and the receipt of the diagnosis, a delay that was significantly longer for children of African American and mixed racial backgrounds. Moreover, families whose children were diagnosed at a later age were less satisfied with the diagnostic process. Families appeared to have an adequate understanding of research-based interventions. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.
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