Early Detection, Diagnosis and Intervention Services for Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the European Union (ASDEU): Family and Professional Perspectives

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Abstract

Early services for ASD need to canvas the opinions of both parents and professionals. These opinions are seldom compared in the same research study. This study aims to ascertain the views of families and professionals on early detection, diagnosis and intervention services for young children with ASD. An online survey compiled and analysed data from 2032 respondents across 14 European countries (60.9% were parents; 39.1% professionals). Using an ordinal scale from 1 to 7, parents’ opinions were more negative (mean = 4.6; SD 2.2) compared to those of professionals (mean = 4.9; SD 1.5) when reporting satisfaction with services. The results suggest services should take into account child’s age, delays in accessing services, and active stakeholders’ participation when looking to improve services.

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Fig. 1

Data Availability

A copy of the surveys can be seen at: http://asdeu.eu/wp2-activities/.

Change history

  • 28 November 2019

    The original version of this article unfortunately contained a mistake in one of the co-author’s family name. The correct name should be María Victoria Martín-Cilleros instead of María Victoria Cilleros-Martín.

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Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank all those who participated in this study, and express their gratitude for the European Parliament grant EC DG-SANTÉ 2014/C2/035.

Funding

This study was funded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness [Grant PSI2016-80575-R], the European Union, DGSANCO, [Ref.: SANCO/2014/C2/035], and the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport [Ref.: BOE-B-2017-2646]. These funders had no role in the study design, the collection, analysis or interpretation of the data, the writing of the manuscript, or the decision to submit the paper for publication.

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ABM, RCB, MMM and MP designed the study and wrote the manuscript; ABM, MP and RCB carried out the statistical analyses and interpreted the results; CFA and PGP collaborated in writing the manuscript. ABM, RCB, MMM, CJF and MP designed the surveys and MRS, AB, RL, HB, SVP, DS, CW, SC, AN, FM, MLS, IM, AY, ES, SLJ, MEB, AV, CR, BR, QG, SB, LP, JXK ODK, RK, EP and TS translated the surveys into their native languages and disseminated them in their respective countries. All authors have read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Ricardo Canal-Bedia.

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Ethical approval was given by the Research Ethics Committee of the University of Salamanca, Spain (201700008785).

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Bejarano-Martín, Á., Canal-Bedia, R., Magán-Maganto, M. et al. Early Detection, Diagnosis and Intervention Services for Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the European Union (ASDEU): Family and Professional Perspectives. J Autism Dev Disord 50, 3380–3394 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-019-04253-0

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Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Early detection
  • Diagnosis
  • Patient satisfaction
  • Mental health services
  • Survey