This article was originally published here
Res Dev Disabil. 2020 Nov 23;108:103811. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2020.103811. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Diagnostic and treatment disparities exist among sociodemographically diverse families with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These disparities may be partially explained by the lack of information researchers and providers have regarding the unique experiences of diverse populations.
AIMS: This study aimed to explore sociodemographic predictors of parents’ perceptions about their children’s ASD and families’ adjustment.
METHODS: Hierarchical linear regression analyses were conducted to explore whether sociodemographic factors predicted aspects of parent’s perceptions and family adjustment among 363 parents of children and adolescents with ASD.
RESULTS: Parents’ race/ethnicity, education level, and annual household income predicted their beliefs that they or treatment could be helpful in controlling their children’s ASD symptoms; their understanding of ASD; their experiences of emotional distress; their involvement in resources of support; and their families’ ability to manage stress.
CONCLUSION: Our results demonstrate the importance of considering the complexity of families’ demographic characteristics when working to support families with ASD. Parents’ unique characteristics and experiences influence their perceptions about their children’s ASD diagnosis and their families’ ability to adjust to life raising children with ASD. Research extending this work is a critical step in dismantling ASD diagnostic and treatment disparities.