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Autism spectrum disorders and developmental disabilities in children from immigrant families in the United States.

TitleAutism spectrum disorders and developmental disabilities in children from immigrant families in the United States.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsLin, SC, Yu, SM, Harwood, RL
JournalPediatrics
Volume130
PaginationS191-7
Date PublishedNov
KeywordsAdolescent, AIM, airp, Child, Child Development Disorders, Developmental Disabilities/ep [Epidemiology], Emigrants and Immigrants/sn [Statistics & Numerical Data], Female, Humans, IM, Male, Pervasive/ep [Epidemiology], Preschool, United States/ep [Epidemiology]
Abstract

OBJECTIVES: Recent census data show that nearly one-quarter of US children have at least 1 immigrant parent; moreover, there has been a dramatic increase in children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and select developmental disabilities (DDs). However, little is known about access to medical home and adequacy of insurance coverage for children with ASDs and select DDs from immigrant families. METHODS: By using the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health, we compared children with ASDs and select DDs from immigrant (n = 413, foreign born or reside with at least 1 immigrant parent) and nonimmigrant (n = 5411) families on various measures of medical home and insurance coverage. We used weighted logistic regression to examine the association between immigrant family and selected outcome measures while controlling for confounding factors. RESULTS: Compared with nonimmigrant families, children with ASD and select DD from immigrant families were more than twice as likely to lack usual source of care and report physicians not spending enough time with family. Furthermore, multivariable analyses indicate that insurance coverage is an important factor in mitigating health care barriers for immigrant families. CONCLUSIONS: The study demonstrates important areas of deficits in the health care experiences of children with ASD and select DD from immigrant households. Public policy implications include increasing access to existing insurance programs, augmenting public awareness resources for ASD and select DD, and offering assistance to immigrant families that are struggling with the medical needs of their children.

Summary

Lead Author
Sue C. Lin

Study Aims and Objectives
To better understand differences in medical care and insurance coverage for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and other Developmental Disabilities (DD) between those from immigrant families and those from nonimmigrant families.

Methods - Sample, Procedure, Study Measures, Analysis
413 children from immigrant households (having at least one immigrant parent) and 5411 children from nonimmigrant households were included in the study. Researchers examined data from the National Survey of Children’s Health on various measures of patient-centered care and insurance coverage. Furthermore, the association between immigrant family status and selected outcomes was explored.

Results – Main Finding(s)
More than 70% of the children from immigrant households were Hispanic, whereas 59% of the children from nonimmigrant households were non-Hispanic white. While a quarter of the children from nonimmigrant households were low income, almost 40% of those from immigrant households were low income. In regards to effective care coordination, parents from nonimmigrant households were more likely to report not receiving help than parents from immigrant households. However, more immigrant households reported needing extra help with care coordination. Children from immigrant households were more than twice as likely to not have a usual source of care and their parents were twice as likely to report physicians not spending enough time with them. Immigrant families were three times more likely to lack any form of health care coverage.

Conclusion – Summary Statement
This study demonstrates important areas of deficits in health care experiences of children with ASD and select DD from immigrant households. Public policy implications include increasing access to existing insurance programs, augmenting public awareness resources for ASD and select DD, and offering assistance to immigrant families that are struggling with the medical needs of their children.

PubMed ID23118251