Lesly W. James, Kris A. Pizur-Barnekow, Sandra Schefkind; Online Survey Examining Practitioners’ Perceived Preparedness in the Early Identification of Autism. Am J Occup Ther 2014;68(1):e13–e20. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2014.009027
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© 2021 American Occupational Therapy Association
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.
Provides more exposure to and discussion about evidence in the field of autism to be better prepared to share and discuss evidence with families;
Emphasizes the identification and selection of psychometrically sound screening tools to determine areas of focus when autism is suspected;
Provides training in administering, scoring, and interpreting results of assessment tools for use in family education and treatment planning;
Focuses on cultural competency and strategies to incorporate family perspectives, particularly those of culturally and linguistically diverse families, into assessment and evaluation; and
Provides strategies for accessing and sharing the CDC’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” campaign materials and other autism-related materials.
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