Research Article  |   January 2014
Online Survey Examining Practitioners’ Perceived Preparedness in the Early Identification of Autism
Author Affiliations
  • Lesly W. James, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Research Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of South Carolina, School of Medicine, Center for Disability Resources, Columbia, SC 29208; lesly.james@uscmed.sc.edu
  • Kris A. Pizur-Barnekow, PhD, OTR/L, is Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Science and Technology, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee College of Health Sciences
  • Sandra Schefkind, MS, OTR, is Pediatric Coordinator, American Occupational Therapy Association, Bethesda, MD
Article Information
Autism/Autism Spectrum Disorder / Early Intervention / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Professional Issues
Research Article   |   January 2014
Online Survey Examining Practitioners’ Perceived Preparedness in the Early Identification of Autism
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January/February 2014, Vol. 68, e13-e20. doi:10.5014/ajot.2014.009027
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January/February 2014, Vol. 68, e13-e20. doi:10.5014/ajot.2014.009027
Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the perceived preparedness of practitioners in the early identification of children ages birth to 6 yr with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Both occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants were included in this survey study. The online survey instrument consisted of 29 questions within six sections capturing participant demographics, delivery of occupational therapy services, action when autism is suspected, service delivery experience, resource sharing, and barriers to conducting autism screening. The results of the study provide baseline information concerning identified skills, practices, and barriers among 1,396 practitioners. Additionally, opportunities are revealed for professional development necessary to support practitioners in the early identification of children at risk for ASD through surveillance and screening among children ages birth to 6 yr.