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ERIC Number: ED521953
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 277
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1241-5357-5
The Impact of Family Resources on the Ability to Access and Receive Early Intensive Specialized Services for Children with Autism in Massachusetts
Bennett, Jillian
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Boston
Children who are diagnosed with autism before three years old gain access to Early Intensive Specialized Services (EISS), which can result in significant improvements in social skills, communication, adaptive behavior, and cognitive functioning. Studies have found that children with autism who begin intervention earlier improve more in their functioning compared to those who begin intervention after three years old. Although being diagnosed and beginning EISS as soon as possible is critical, there is considerable variability in the age children with autism are diagnosed and therefore gain access to EISS. Furthermore, there can be variability in the quality of the EISS these children receive. This study examined how the resources available to a child's family might account for the variability in access to and quality of EISS, as well as the subsequent impact this would have on the functioning of the child. In addition, the facilitation families received in accessing EISS and receiving quality EISS was also examined as a potential moderator between family resources and EISS. The sample included 59 families with a child with autism between 20-34 months old enrolled in EISS. Parents and professionals working with the children in this study were mailed questionnaire packets at two time points. Results indicated that families with greater resources received access to EISS earlier than families with lower resources. However, there were no differences across families in the quality of EISS the children in this study received. The level of facilitation a family received did moderate the relationship between some of the family resources and the quality of the EISS the child received. While the children who received better quality EISS improved more in communication compared to the children who received lower quality EISS, this finding and general improvement seen in the sample over the six month time period was not related to family resource levels. This study should be considered a stepping stone toward the many future studies that are needed to fully understand these relationships. Further research is needed to understand why disparities across families exist in this population and how the facilitation of services can reduce these disparities. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts