Survey Shows Only Half of Children with ASD Received Early Intervention Program Services

July 25, 2022

Inequities in Participation of Early Services Affected by Race and Income

An original investigation published in JAMA Pediatrics reveals that less than half (47%) of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in metro New Jersey between the years 2006 and 2016 received Early Intervention Program (EIP) services. EIP services provide interventions to children with developmental delays between birth and 36 months and are critical for the best future outcomes. Most importantly, they are mandated by Part C of the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This new report also details inequities in EIP participation determined by race and income. Specifically, the investigation found that only 43% of Non-Hispanic Black children and 45% of Hispanic children with ASD participated in EIP services as opposed to 49% of Non-Hispanic White children. Income disparities showed that just 42% of low-income socioeconomic status (SES) households participated in EIP as opposed to 49% of mid-income SES households and 53% of high-income SES households. However, the investigation found a positive trend. Children born in 2008 were 2.6 times more likely to participate in EIP services than children born in 1998, indicating increasing EIP participation over time. The researchers behind this report call for targeted and practical strategies to improve EIP participation in underserved communities, pointing to the downstream benefits of EIP participation, which include earlier ASD identification and future linkage to services. 

Original Investigation

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