Parental concerns of underserved young children at risk for autism

Caroline N. Coffield, Jill F. Harris, Yvette M. Janvier, Marilyn Lopez, Natalia Gonzalez, Manuel E. Jimenez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Early identification of children at risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is critical to promote optimal outcomes. However disparities in early recognition of ASD based on race, ethnicity, income, and English proficiency persist. Little is known regarding how parents from these groups describe concerns. The study aim was to understand how parents of children from underserved backgrounds at developmental risk describe concerns about child development and behavior. To address this gap, developmental concerns of 204 parents of children at-risk for ASD from underserved communities were analyzed. In this sample, the number and type of parental concerns differed based on parent primary language but not the presence of ASD or ethnicity. Parents whose primary language was Spanish were less likely to express concerns about their child’s development or to express ASD-specific concerns. These findings have implications for how clinicians elicit and interpret developmental concerns from underserved families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)742-755
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of health care for the poor and underserved
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


  • Autism
  • Latino
  • Limited English proficiency
  • Parent concerns
  • Underserved


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