Original paper

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 37, Issue 10, pp 1902-1912

First online:

Access to Care for Autism-Related Services

  • Kathleen C. ThomasAffiliated withCecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Email author 
  • , Alan R. EllisAffiliated withCecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • , Carolyn McLaurinAffiliated withCecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • , Julie DanielsAffiliated withDepartment of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • , Joseph P. MorrisseyAffiliated withCecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel HillDepartment of Health Policy and Administration, School of Public Health, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Abstract

This paper identifies family characteristics associated with use of autism-related services. A telephone or in-person survey was completed during 2003–2005 by 383 North Carolina families with a child 11 years old or younger with ASD. Access to care is limited for racial and ethnic minority families, with low parental education, living in nonmetropolitan areas, and not following a major treatment approach. Service use is more likely when parents have higher stress. Families use a broad array of services; the mix varies with child ASD diagnosis and age group. Disparities in service use associated with race, residence and education point to the need to develop policy, practice and family-level interventions that can address barriers to services for children with ASD.

Keywords

Autism Services Access