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Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) utilize a greater number of healthcare services compared to children with other developmental disabilities. Despite this, children with ASD remain at high risk for unmet service needs, which are compounded by differences in socioeconomic status (SES). Both empowerment and parent-professional partnership play a role in service outcomes and may be especially important in understanding these service disparities. Our goal was to better understand the contributions of these variables to service disparities in families of children with ASD. Two-hundred forty-nine parents of children with ASD between the ages of 3 and 20 participated in this online survey. Results support previous research highlighting high levels of unmet needs that are exacerbated by differences in parent education, a common indicator of SES. Empowerment and parent-professional partnership also predicted service delivery outcomes. While high quality partnership predicted greater service adequacy, empowerment was inversely related to services. Furthermore, an interaction found that highly empowered families experiencing poor quality partnerships reported worse service delivery outcomes, while empowerment was not a factor in services for families experiencing high quality partnerships. Parent-professional partnership partially mediated the relationship between parent education and service delivery outcomes. As such, increasing parent-professional partnerships through family-centered care and professional training may help to reduce education-related service disparities and improve satisfaction with care for families and children with ASD.
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- Service Delivery Outcomes in ASD: Role of Parent Education, Empowerment, and Professional Partnerships
Karís A. Casagrande
Brooke R. Ingersoll
- Springer US