Knowledge of Autism for Parents of Low Income with Low Literacy: Description and Relationship to Child Development Knowledge
- 301 Downloads
Parents are critical for early detection of autism; however, children of low SES are identified later than their counterparts. Such delays in detection of autism may be attributed to limited parental knowledge of early developmental milestones and early signs of autism. Authors examined knowledge of developmental milestones and autism in 41 parents of low SES with low literacy. Participants were recruited from adult literacy programs and completed measures of developmental milestones and autism knowledge. Parents reported greater knowledge of motor milestones when compared to other milestones, including language, cognitive, social, and play milestones. Parent knowledge of milestones did not correlate with knowledge of autism. Parents overestimated social and play milestones that indicate autism risk, such as delays in responding to name and pointing to show interest, which may contribute to delays in detection of autism. Authors discuss implications of the results in terms of areas of future research.
KeywordsAutism Parent knowledge Low literacy Developmental milestones
The authors wish to thank Ashley H. Johnson, PhD, for her helpful feedback and comments on the manuscript.
JMC: collaborated in the design and execution of the study, analyzed the data and reported results, and led writing of the manuscript. DG: collaborated with the design and execution of the study, and collaborated with writing and editing of the manuscript. PAG: collaborated in the design and execution of the study, and collaborated with writing and editing of the manuscript. ZS: collaborated with the design and execution of the study and editing of the manuscript. CS: collaborated in the development of measures and execution of the study.
Source of Funding
The research was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD) under Cooperative Agreement U01DD000231 to the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD).
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional review boards of the University of Georgia and Georgia State University and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
The content does not necessarily reflect the views and policies of CDC, NCBDDD, nor AUCD.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2016). Learn the Signs. Act Early. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/actearly/.
- Charmaz, K. (2006). Constructing grounded theory: a practical guide through qualitative analysis. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
- Christensen, D. L., Baio, J., Braun, K. V., Bilder, D., Charles, J., Constantino, J. N., et al. (2016). Prevalence and characteristics of autism spectrum disorder among children aged 8 years – autism and developmental disabilities monitoring network, 11 sites, United States, 2012. MMWR Surveillance Summaries, 65(SS-3), 1–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- CTB/McGraw-Hill. (2008). Test of Adult Basic Education. Monterey: McGraw-Hill, Inc.Google Scholar
- Huang, K.-Y., Caughy, M. O., Genevro, J. L., & Miller, T. L. (2005). Maternal knowledge of child development and quality of parenting among White, African-American and Hispanic mothers. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 26, 149–170. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appdev.2004.12.001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Kutner, M., Greenberg, E., Jin, Y., & Paulsen, C. (2006). The Health Literacy of America’s Adults: Results from the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy. Washington, D.C.: National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Education.Google Scholar
- MacPhee, D. (1981). Manual for the knowledge of infant development inventory. University of North Carolina; unpublished manuscript.Google Scholar
- Mandell, D. S., Listerud, J., Levy, S. E., & Pinto-Martin, J. A. (2002). Race differences in the age at diagnosis among Medicaid-eligible children with autism. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 41, 1447–1453. https://doi.org/10.1097/00004583-200212000-00016.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Mandell, D. S., Wiggins, L. D., Carpenter, L. A., Daniels, J., DiGuiseppi, C., Durkin, M. S., et al. (2009). Racial/ethnic disparities in the identification of children with autism spectrum disorders. American Journal of Public Health, 99, 493–498. https://doi.org/10.2105/AJPH.2007.131243.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- Robins, D., Fein, D., & Barton, M. (2009). Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers-Revised with Follow-Up. https://www.m-chat.org/.
- U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2010). National action plan to improve health literacy. Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar