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Monday, September 19, 2016

Social Class and Service Use

In The Politics of Autism, I write about the experiences of different ethnic and racial groups.

At The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, Cathina T. Nguyen, Paula Krakowiak, Robin Hansen, Irva Hertz-Picciotto, Kathleen Angkustsiri have an article titled 
"Sociodemographic Disparities in Intervention Service Utilization in Families of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder." The abstract:
This study investigates whether sociodemographic factors are associated with utilization of intervention services for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) enrolled in the Childhood Autism Risks from Genetics and the Environment Study. Maternal ethnicity, insurance status, and education for 696 families of children with ASD were available. Children of Black mothers entered intervention earlier compared to White mothers (2 vs. 2.6 years; p = 0.001). Having public insurance was associated with receiving <15 a="" associated="" bachelor="" classroom-based="" degree="" differences="" h="" having="" href="" individual="" of="" receiving="" services.="" services="" suggest="" that="" these="" was="" week="" while="" with="">SES may be a factor
in utilization of services. Efforts should be made to ensure that interventions offered are culturally and linguistically accessible.From the article:
We found that the age of entry for classroom-based intervention services was significantly younger for children of Black mothers than White mothers. A possible explanation for this observation is that because we did not capture age of entry into individual services, children of White mothers may have received individual services at an earlier age and resulted in delayed entry into center-based services. Conversely, this trend might be explained by Black mothers wanting and seeking opportunities to enter their children into classroom-based services sooner in order to allow them to reduce the impact on employment (Folk and Beller 1993). General public childcare trends also show that Black families are more likely to utilize center-based care in comparison to their Hispanic and White counterparts (Radey and Brewster 2007). These trends, although not specifically about families of children with ASD, may be the explanation for why we see children of Black mothers entering classroom-based intervention services earlier than children of White mothers. Another possible explanation of this trend is that children of Black mothers may have received a more general developmental delay or behavioral disorder diagnosis prior to an ASD diagnosis, which is consistent with previous research (Mandell et al. 2007; Fountain et al. 2011; Magana et al. 2013). Another diagnosis at an early age may have allowed them to enter services and treatment earlier.
We also observed that children from families whose primary language spoken at home is not English had a slightly higher mean age of entry for classroom-based services and
were more likely to receive fewer hours/week (<15 a="" addition="" children="" compared="" english-speaking="" families.="" href="" in="" individual="" of="" services="" to="">Hispanic families
were more likely to receive no individual services (32.5%) than to receive individual services (24.3%), a trend not seen in any other race/ethnicity group.