Parental Perceptions of a Comprehensive Diagnostic Evaluation for Toddlers at Risk for Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Dasal Tenzin JasharEmail author
  • Deborah Fein
  • Leandra N. Berry
  • Jeffrey D. Burke
  • Lauren E. Miller
  • Marianne L. Barton
  • Thyde Dumont-Mathieu
Original Paper


Parent satisfaction with neurodevelopmental evaluations may influence the pursuit of intervention. Parent satisfaction with a neurodevelopmental evaluation for toddlers at risk for autism (n = 257; 128 with autism) was examined using the Post-Evaluation Satisfaction Questionnaire, which collected quantitative and qualitative information. Fewer ethnic/racial minority than non-minority parents returned the questionnaire. Factor analysis indicated a one-factor model, Total score, which did not differ significantly by diagnosis, autism severity, child’s cognitive or adaptive delay, family race/ethnicity, maternal education, family annual income, or parental stress. Examination of 24 individual items showed a race/ethnicity difference for only one item; minority parents scored the evaluation as meeting their needs less. Qualitative data stressed the importance of fully explaining diagnoses/recommendations and providing direct and clear feedback.


Autism spectrum disorder Parental satisfaction Diagnostic evaluation Health services research 



This study was funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, (Grant Number R01HD039961). We would like to thank all the families who participated in our study, and the physicians, clinicians, medical staff, and graduate and undergraduate students who contributed to the study.

Author Contributions

Author DTJ was part of study design development, data collection, data analysis, and writing. Authors DF and TDM were part of study design development, data collection, and writing. Authors LNB, LEM, and MLB were part of study design development and data collection. Author JDB was part of data analysis.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Authors DF and MLB are part owners of the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers. This is provided free of charge to physicians. Royalties are charged when it is incorporated into a commercial system. Research into the MCHAT is currently supported by NICHD (Robins, PI). Authors DTJ, LNB, LEM, and TDM declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

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Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 20 KB)
10803_2018_3851_MOESM2_ESM.sav (207 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (SAV 207 KB)
10803_2018_3851_MOESM3_ESM.docx (24 kb)
Supplementary Table 1 (DOCX 23 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dasal Tenzin Jashar
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  • Deborah Fein
    • 2
  • Leandra N. Berry
    • 3
  • Jeffrey D. Burke
    • 2
  • Lauren E. Miller
    • 2
  • Marianne L. Barton
    • 2
  • Thyde Dumont-Mathieu
    • 4
  1. 1.University of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA
  3. 3.Department of PediatricsBaylor College of MedicineHoustonUSA
  4. 4.Connecticut Children’s Medical CenterHartfordUSA
  5. 5.Kennedy Krieger InstituteBaltimoreUSA

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