216070 Decreasing disparities in autism service delivery

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Patricia Wright, PhD, MPH , Program Services, Easter Seals, Inc., Chicago, IL
Shahla Ala'I-Rosales, PhD, BCBA-D , Department of Behavior Analysis, University of North Texas, Denton, TX
The increase in autism prevalence is placing a significant burden on community healthcare providers. High quality treatment for children with autism can result in considerable progress; providing an increased quality of life and decreasing the financial burden on society. However, the expense of a quality program, ~$60,000 per year, is untenable for most families. A growing body of literature demonstrates ethnic and socioeconomic disparity in age of diagnosis and service availability in the field of autism treatment. There is a paucity of data on how to address these disparities for children with autism. This session will provide preliminary data from a unique program that attempts to understand and address socioeconomic and ethnic disparities within community based autism treatment programs. The Easter Seals North Texas Autism Treatment Program (ESATP) is a formal collaboration between a state agency, a local public university and a non-governmental organization. The ESATP is designed to increase access to quality service for children and families that typically experience disparities in gaining access to effective treatment. The ESATP collaborative relationship is a core contribution to meeting the needs of the local children and to producing generalized knowledge to assist public health professionals in decreasing disparities. Data analysis of the children and families enrolled and the professionals providing the services are driving programmatic changes. Changes include weighted enrollment, training of pre and post service professionals in cultural competence, and organizational supports. The positive outcomes of this program could lead to replication, mediating disparities being experienced by children with autism.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
1)participants will be able to describe the current disparities in treatment access for children with autism 2)participants will describe variables that contribute to disparities 3)participants will be able to list three actions that autism treatment programs can take to decrease disparities within their programs

Keywords: Disability, Health Care Access

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been professionally engaged in autism service delivery for twenty-five years and currently lead and direct programs for the largest autism service provider in the United States.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.