Survey of Families with Child on Autism Spectrum Reveals Important Perspectives for Pediatricians

Over the summer, OCALI’s Office of Policy, on behalf of Ohio’s Interagency Work Group on Autism (IWGA), issued a survey to gain insight into family experiences around the time of diagnosis. More than 280 families responded and the results are available on OCALI’s website.

The good news is, the survey indicates that we are making progress as a state in terms of early diagnosis and helping families find the resources they need. For example, more than half (55 percent) of respondents indicated that their child was diagnosed by age three, and 80 percent were already connected to services and resources once diagnosed. Additionally, 90 percent of families receive services through school-based resources. Notably, families reported that the thing that helps them most in their journey is connecting with other families.

However, the survey also indicated several opportunities where improvements are needed to help children and families get access to the services they need to help children with autism live their best lives for their whole lives. For example, almost all families were initially told their child did not have autism or to “wait and see.” They were not referred for additional screening, evaluation, or services, which was a lost opportunity for pediatricians and other providers to get children early interventions, regardless of the eventual diagnosis.

Making a referral to Help Me Grow is the first and easy step for parents who have questions or concerns about their infant or child. Referrals can be made here or by calling 1-800-755-4769. Anyone can make a referral. No one needs to “wait and see.”


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This page is for practice managers and office employees to discuss issues they’re experiencing in their practices. Many problems that we hear about can help other practices, so we invite you to share best practices by posting issues and by responding to issues other practices are experiencing. This page is monitored by the Ohio AAP. Advice and opinions expressed on these discussion boards are the views of the poster and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ohio AAP. If you have any issues, questions, or feedback, please contact Melanie Farkas.