A large percentage of people with learning disabilities fall under the category of Autism therefore it is important to explore the identification diagnosis and navigation of services. This study was done with a purpose to explore the caregivers’ perspectives on facilitators and barriers to screening, diagnosis, and identifying and accessing other services for young children with ASD; and caregivers’ suggestions for improving the process.
8 focus groups with 55 caregivers who met the inclusion criteria took part in the study. 4 groups had a mix of White, African American, and Asian caregivers, and to gain broader populations, we recruited two groups of Spanish-speaking and two groups of American Indian caregivers. All these efforts ensured results that are generalizable. Some caregivers reported that their child and they received excellent services; however, the majority reported concerns about the services they and their child received.
The findings of this study indicated a lower age of diagnosis and a smaller gap between concerns and diagnosis for White non-Hispanic children compared with Hispanic non-White children. Caregivers had many suggestions for ways to improve the process.