Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 747–748 | Cite as

Parents’ Perspectives on the Role of Pediatricians in Autism Diagnosis

  • Amy SudhinarasetEmail author
  • Alice Kuo

Dear Editor,

In medicine, there is no relationship more important than the one between a physician and his or her patient. Pediatricians are in a singular position where they have an equally important relationship with their patient’s parents. In an effort to identify the factors that can be helpful or detrimental to the autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnostic process, 13 in depth individual parent interviews were conducted in the summer of 2010. Results of the interview series revealed that the parent-pediatrician relationship is multifaceted and can be a key contributing factor in both early and delayed ASD diagnosis.

Factors associated with a delay in diagnosis have been attributed to socioeconomic status, symptoms associated with language and behavior deficits, pediatrician referrals for specialty care and having a limited knowledge of the symptoms, prognosis, and treatments (Mandell et al. 2007). However, surprisingly, parents’ perspectives on the diagnostic process have rarely...


Autism Spectrum Disorder Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnostic Process Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis Parent Interview 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



I would like to thank all the parents who graciously volunteered their time to take part in the interviews and to Family Adult & Child Therapies (F.A.C.T.) who welcomed me into their support group meetings. I would also like to thank the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine Short Term Training Program for providing funding for this study.


  1. Armstrong, C. (2008). AAP releases guidelines on identification of children with autism spectrum disorders. American Family Physician, 78(11), 1301–1305.Google Scholar
  2. Mandell, D. S., Maytali, M. S., & Zubritsky, C. D. (2005). Factors associated with age of diagnosis among children with autism spectrum disorders. Pediatrics, 116(6), 1480–1486.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Mandell, D. S., Ittenbach, R. F., Levy, S. E., & Pinto-Martin, J. A. (2007). Disparities in diagnoses received prior to a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorder, 37, 1795–1802.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UCLA David Geffen School of MedicineLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.UCLA/Drew Medical ProgramLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsUCLALos AngelesUSA

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