Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Health Research Methodology
Background and objectives: Recently, more attention has been placed on contributing factors for different prevalence rates of ASDs/PDDs in geographical areas. This study examines the association between diagnosis of ASDs and distance to regional intervention centres using a population-based dataset of children attending Senior Kindergarten classes in Ontario. Demographic and socioeconomic variables were also examined to find significant predictors for diagnosis of ASDs.
Methods: Data from all sites of Ontario with completed Early Development Instrument (EDI) in school years 2009/10 and 2010/11 were included. Individual-level variables were derived based on the data provided by EDI. Neighbourhood-level variables on socioeconomic factors of children’s place of residence were obtained through census data.
Results: 708 out of 66,284 children were reported by teachers to have diagnosis of ASDs, which results in a prevalence rate of 1.0% for ASDs. Children living near regional centres were less likely to be in the diagnosed group (OR=0.77). Moreover, children living in neighborhoods with high proportion of adults with high school diplomas and high proportion of single-parent families were more at risk of being reported as diagnosed (OR=1.27 & 0.73; respectively). MCYS region that a child lives in was found to be another significant predictor for teacher-reported diagnosis of ASDs.
Conclusion: Regional centres were not the only centres providing interventions to children with ASDs in Ontario. Therefore, having in-detailed information about the exact place of receiving intervention for each child would be beneficial. Furthermore, having single-parent family structure as a significant predictor necessitates specific policies for these families to obtain appropriate services, reduce caregiver’s stress, and improve family functioning.
Hadioonzadeh, Anahita, "ASSOCIATION OF PREVALENCE OF AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS AMONG KINDERGARTEN CHILDREN IN RELATION TO DISTANCE TO REGIONAL INTERVENTION SERVICE PROVIDERS IN ONTARIO" (2012). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 7529.
McMaster University Library
Available for download on Wednesday, October 02, 2013