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The present study examines urbanicity-related differences in help-seeking process among preschool children with autism and investigates the factors associated with utilization of autism-related services within the year of diagnosis. Using the 1997–2004 National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD) in Taiwan, we identified a total of 3495 autistic children born in 1997–1999 and 13964 matched controls. Results indicate that suburban and rural autism tended to receive the diagnosis at an older age and to have a longer diagnosis process as compared with urban counterparts. Male gender, a younger age of diagnosis, and being diagnosed by psychiatric specialty strongly predict subsequent greater utilization of autism-specific services (all p < 0.05). Health policy makers and other service providers should address the needs of children with early-onset neurodevelopmental disorders in rural areas, particularly those from disadvantaged families.
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- Urbanicity-related Variation in Help-seeking and Services Utilization among Preschool-age Children with Autism in Taiwan
- Springer US