Author

Talley Yake

Date of Award

1-1-2012

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master Of Arts In Clinical Psychology

Colleges & School

College Of Arts And Sciences

First Advisor

Jessica Schroeder, PsyD

Library of Congress Subject Heading

Autism; Autistic children--Care; Families; Parents of autistic children

Abstract

Early intervention is widely considered to be desirable for children with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), for when intervention is started at an earlier age, the treatment may be more beneficial to their developmental functioning (Kabot, Masi, & Segal, 2003). Therefore, the present study considered multiple factors that may have a relationship with the course and length of the diagnostic process. Participants in the present study were the primary caregivers of children with a diagnosis of ASD. The study considered several factors that may relate to the length of the diagnostic process: age at first evaluation for ASD, age at diagnosis, symptom presentation of ASD, and severity of ASD. The parent specific variables of parental familiarity with ASD and whether the parent asserted an opinion as to whether their child did or did not have ASD (and the strength of this assertion) were also measured. These factors were gathered through a parent survey, and also obtained from the diagnostic evaluation in the child’s clinic record. Correlations and multiple regression analyses indicated a significant relationship between the length of the diagnostic process and age of first evaluation for ASD, diagnosis age, and the CARS severity score. This study has several implications for the treatment of ASD. The identification of factors related to the diagnostic process may enable mental health professionals to find ways to address these factors and expedite the evaluation process, thereby providing intervention services in the most timely manner.

Rights

On-Campus Access

OCLC Number

818911550

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