Early identification and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in children younger than age 3 years is becoming an increasingly common area of concern and study. Research suggests that systematic, early intervention can significantly improve outcomes and reduce the cost of caring for children with ASD through the lifespan. Therefore, it is imperative that evidence-based practices (EBPs) for this young age group are translated effectively into community settings. One method of promoting EBPs and developing capacity for implementation is active collaboration between researchers and community stakeholders. This requires a precise understanding of the perspectives of stakeholders regarding the benefits and barriers of specific practices and early intervention in general. In the current study, we gathered feedback from families and a multidisciplinary group of community providers regarding early intervention values for infants/toddlers at risk for ASD and their families through focus groups. The opinions and values of the community sample were examined using mixed qualitative and quantitative methods to facilitate efforts to build long-term capacity for implementing efficacious ASD intervention for children younger than 3 years. Results indicated that, the values of community providers and parents were highly similar and were aligned with EBP strategies. Recommendations for translating EBPs for this population into community settings are discussed.
- autism spectrum disorders
- community values early intervention
- evidence-based practice
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health