There is limited evidence surrounding the ability of families of children with autism spectrum disorders to access and implement recommended interventions following diagnosis. The distress a family may encounter with regard to inability to access recommended services is also poorly understood. In this study, we present preliminary data regarding implementation of clinical recommendations following autism spectrum disorder diagnosis as well as associations of implementation with maternal functioning. In total, 75 mothers of young children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder through a university-based preschool autism clinic returned surveys regarding access to recommended services as well as maternal mental health and distress. Results indicate that while families were able to implement numerous recommendations, specific categories of intervention were less likely to be received. Challenges implementing recommended services were not related to increased maternal distress. These results suggest that despite potential barriers toward accessing some specific recommended services following diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, many families may be quite successful in implementing many other core recommended services and that failure to access such services may not necessarily negatively impact maternal mental health and distress.
- autism spectrum disorders
- caregiver distress
- service implementation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology