The path to care in autism: is it better now?

J Autism Dev Disord. 1994 Oct;24(5):551-63. doi: 10.1007/BF02172137.


Parents of children with autism often report problems associated with obtaining a diagnosis of their child's condition, family support, information, and appropriate services. To evaluate any changes in the situation over the last two decades, the families of all members of the West Midlands Autistic Society, age 19 years and below, were asked to fill in a questionnaire that covered aspects of detection, diagnosis, help and information received, and educational provision. Responses were obtained from 127 families, the children of whom formed an older group ages 10 years and above (n = 67) and a younger group ages 9 years and below (n = 61). Findings show that there have been improvements for the younger group in some areas, such as earlier referral, diagnosis, and statementing. However, the situation with respect to advice given by professionals and the support and provision available after referral is still much the same as that experienced by families of the older group of children. Many difficulties and hurdles remain which hinder parents and children on the path to care in autism.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Autistic Disorder / diagnosis
  • Autistic Disorder / psychology
  • Autistic Disorder / rehabilitation*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Consumer Behavior*
  • Cost of Illness
  • Education of Intellectually Disabled / trends
  • England
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Patient Care Team / trends
  • Referral and Consultation / trends
  • Self-Help Groups
  • Social Work / trends