Early detection for better outcomes: Building capacity to identify and support children showing early signs of autism in early childhood education and care settings

Beth Mozolic-Staunton, Josephine Barbaro, Michelle Donelly

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Access to early intervention is dependent on timely and accurate identification of children showing early signs of developmental challenges, yet 22 % of Australian children have developmental delays that are undetected prior to school. Many children miss out on access to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) due to high rates of under-identification of autism.This research program aimed to build capacity within the early childhood education sector to monitor the development of young children in their care using evidenced- based processes to improve rates of detection of developmental delay in young children and facilitate access to early intervention.Outcomes of developmental surveillance using The Social Attention Communication Surveillance- Revised (SACS-R) and the Parents Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDS) in community health and early education settings were investigated and 14,113 children were monitored across health and early childhood education settings to establish effectiveness in the early identification of children with developmental challenges. Perspectives of stakeholders about early detection and accessibility of intervention through the NDIS are reported.Agreement between PEDS and SACS-R in identification of early signs of autism across both settings is only 54.84%; k = 0.161, 95 % CI (0.81 to 0.241, p < .0005). Sensitivity of SACS-R (82%) was substantially higher than the ASD pathway on PEDS (6.7%) while interrater reliability between maternal child health nurses and early childhood education professionals was very high (k = 0.909).Strategic collaboration and implementation of evidence-based tools across health and education sectors can improve outcomes for children and promote access to funded early intervention supports.
Original languageEnglish
Pages65
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 10 Dec 2020
EventBiennial ASfAR Conference 2020: Autism in Adolescence and Adulthood - Online, Wellington, New Zealand
Duration: 10 Dec 202011 Dec 2020
https://asfar.org.au/asfar-2020-in-wellington-nz/

Conference

ConferenceBiennial ASfAR Conference 2020
Abbreviated titleASfAR
CountryNew Zealand
CityWellington
Period10/12/2011/12/20
Internet address

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