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Res Dev Disabil. 2007 Jan-Feb;28(1):9-22. Epub 2006 Jan 25.

Assessing the diagnostic experiences of a small sample of parents of children with autism spectrum disorders.

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University of Victoria, Department of Psychology, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada V8W 3P5.


Although no Canadian studies have been conducted, studies suggest parents of children with autism experience difficulties obtaining a diagnosis for their child. Fifty-six parents of children with autism completed three questionnaires providing information on the families' demographics, parents' experiences throughout the diagnostic process, and their child's autistic symptomatology. These parents experienced significant difficulties obtaining a diagnosis for their child. Parents saw an average of 4.5 professionals, and waited almost 3 years to receive a diagnosis following their first visit to a professional regarding their child's development. The impact of autistic symptomatology on the diagnostic process is discussed.

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