Increasing ASD screening and referral among NYC's Korean Americans
University of Pennsylvania
The purpose of this project is to develop and test the effectiveness of materials designed to increase the identification and referral to early intervention of Korean-American children with suspected autism or other developmental delays. Growing evidence suggests that earlier identification of autism results in earlier entry into treatment and more positive outcomes than for children for whom diagnosis is delayed. While there has been an increase in general awareness of the signs of autism and the need for early intervention, significant disparities in age of diagnosis have been observed among traditionally underserved minority groups, including those for whom English is a second language. This study is one of the first to systematically develop and evaluate the effects of a population-based intervention to improve the timeliness and referral of autism in one such group in the United States. The project builds on existing English language materials, including the 100-day kit developed by Autism Speaks, and includes partnerships with physicians, early childcare workers, faith leaders and Korean-American parents of young children. The investigators are collaborating with these stakeholders to develop materials that are linguistically and culturally appropriate. Materials will be pilot tested and refined, after which they will be disseminated through doctors’ offices, early childcare settings and churches. The investigators will evaluate program effects through quantitative evaluation of changes in referrals of Korean-American children to New York’s early intervention system, and through qualitative interviews of professional and lay community members. This project is squarely in line with Autism Speaks’ “Move the Needle” initiative, which is designed to increase the quality of care individuals with autism receive in their communities.