Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 49, Issue 8, pp 3060–3072 | Cite as

Child and Family Characteristics that Predict Autism Spectrum Disorder Specialty Clinic Appointment Attendance and Alignment with Providers

  • Gazi F. AzadEmail author
  • Vini Singh
  • Luke Kalb
  • Melanie Pinkett-Davis
  • Rebecca Landa
Original Paper


We examined factors contributing to initial appointment attendance, alignment between parents’ pre-visit and clinicians’ diagnostic impressions, and family commitment to follow-ups at an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) specialty clinic. Sample sizes were n = 6558 (initial), n = 1430 (alignment), and n = 1353 (follow-up). Parents completed surveys and clinicians provided their ASD diagnostic impressions. When children were not receiving intervention, families were less likely to keep their initial appointment. Families residing long distances and having older children were less likely to keep their initial and follow-up appointments. African American families were less likely to keep their initial appointment and expressed initial doubts with providers about the diagnosis. Findings suggest that some children are not getting diagnostic clarity or accessing timely services.


Autism spectrum disorder Specialty care Appointment attendance Diagnostic alignment 



We thank the patients of Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Center for Autism and Related Disorders for agreeing to contribute de-identified data for the purposes of advancing research and science.

Author Contributions

All authors participated in conceiving the study, interpreting the data, and drafting the manuscript. VS and LK performed the statistical analysis. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


This study was not grant funded.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kennedy Krieger Institute’s Center for Autism and Related DisordersBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Department of Mental HealthJohns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public HealthBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesJohns Hopkins School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA

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