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Families' Access to Early Intervention and Supports for Children With Developmental Disabilities

Sapiets, Suzi J; Hastings, Richard P; Stanford, Catherine; Totsika, Vasiliki; (2022) Families' Access to Early Intervention and Supports for Children With Developmental Disabilities. Journal of Early Intervention 10.1177/10538151221083984. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Early intervention (EI) provision is critical for families who have children with developmental disabilities (DD), but existing evidence suggests accessing EI is not always straightforward. The purpose of this study was to provide a comprehensive description of access to various EI supports (e.g., professionals, services, interventions) for families of young children with suspected or diagnosed DD across the United Kingdom and to investigate perceived ease of access to support, unmet need for support, and barriers and facilitators of access to support. Overall, 673 parental caregivers of children aged 0 to 6 years with suspected or diagnosed DD (e.g., developmental delay, intellectual disability, autism) completed our survey anonymously. Across education, health, and social care, services accessed the most were pediatrics ( N = 569, 84.5%), speech and language ( N = 567, 84.2%), and general medical practice ( N = 530, 78.8%). However, only 18.9% ( N = 127) accessed packaged interventions. More than three-quarters ( N = 508, 75.5%) reported an unmet need for early support, indicating a mismatch between the availability and capacity of services and demand for support. Parents also reported common barriers (e.g., obstructive services and unhelpful professionals) and facilitators (e.g., supportive and competent professionals, enabling parent factors) of access. Implications for policy, practice, and research are discussed.

Type: Article
Title: Families' Access to Early Intervention and Supports for Children With Developmental Disabilities
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/10538151221083984
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177%2F10538151221083984
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 by Division for Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorders, disabilities and development delays, intellectual disabilities, research methods, survey methods, young children
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10147729
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