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Focus Autism Other Dev Disabl. 2013 Sep 1;28(3):138-146.

Child and family characteristics influencing intervention choices in autism spectrum disorders.

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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


A myriad of treatment options are available for children with autism, yet little is understood regarding characteristics of parents (e.g., education) and children (e.g., severity of autism symptoms) that influence types and amounts of therapy utilization. Interviews from 70 families were analyzed to determine potential influences on utilization (e.g., start of first services, use of traditional services). Descriptive findings regarding therapy types were similar to national studies. However, only three of the variables predicted utilization of specific therapies: severity of sensory processing problems was associated with earlier initiation of services in general, and higher maternal and paternal education was associated with the use of dietary and/or vitamin therapy as well as with more types of services. No other variables had predictive value; thus, the amount and type of therapies received may be more related to diagnostic practices and/or to the affordances/constraints of service delivery and reimbursement systems at particular ages.


autism; intervention; sensory; services; therapy

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