Language Barriers Impact Access to Services for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

  • Helaine G. St. Amant
  • Sheree M. Schrager
  • Carolina Peña-Ricardo
  • Marian E. Williams
  • Douglas L. Vanderbilt
Original Paper

Abstract

Racial and ethnic disparities in accessing health care have been described in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In a retrospective chart review of 152 children with ASD, children of parents whose primary language was English were significantly more likely to have both social skills and communication goals within their individualized education plan (IEP) compared to children of parents whose primary language was not English. Additionally, children of primary English speakers received significantly more hours of direct services from their state disability program. After controlling for demographic covariates, findings suggest that language barriers may negatively affect parents’ abilities to access health care services for their child with ASD. Acculturation factors must therefore be considered when analyzing disparities in autism.

Keywords

Autism spectrum disorder Health care disparities Individualized education plan Language barriers Access to services 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Keck School of Medicine of USCLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Division of Hospital MedicineChildren’s Hospital Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Division of General PediatricsChildren’s Hospital Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.Children’s Hospital Los AngelesUSC University Center for Excellence in Developmental DisabilitiesLos AngelesUSA
  5. 5.Southern California Permanente Medical Group, Kaiser Permanente West Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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