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Author Notes:

Correspondence: Jennifer Harrison Elder College of Nursing, University of Florida, PO Box 100187, Gainesville, FL 32610-0187, USA Tel +1 352 273 6318 Email elderjh@ufl.edu

All authors contributed toward data analysis, drafting and critically revising the paper and agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work.

The authors thank Debra McDonald, MA, UF College of Nursing, for her editorial assistance.

The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

The authors report no conflicts of interest in this work.


Research Funding:

This work was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health – National Center for Medical and Rehabilitation Research (NICHD) and National Institute for Neurological Disorders & Stroke (grant no. K12 HD055929).


  • autism spectrum disorder
  • ASD
  • early diagnosis
  • early intervention
  • parent–child relationship

Clinical impact of early diagnosis of autism on the prognosis and parent-child relationships


Journal Title:

Psychology Research and Behavior Management


Volume 10


, Pages 283-292

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) refers to a lifelong condition that usually appears in late infancy or early childhood, and is characterized by social and communication deficits that impede optimal functioning. Despite widespread research and greater public awareness, ASD has an unclear etiology and no known cure, making it difficult to acquire accurate and timely diagnoses. In addition, once an ASD diagnosis is made, parents find it challenging to navigate the healthcare system and determine which interventions are most effective and appropriate for their child. A growing body of evidence supports the value of early diagnosis and treatment with evidence-based interventions, which can significantly improve the quality of life of individuals with ASD as well as of their carers and families. Particularly noteworthy are early interventions that occur in natural surroundings and can be modified to address age-related goals throughout the lifespan. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to: 1) provide readers with a brief background related to ASD; 2) describe commonly used screening instruments and tools for early diagnosis; 3) describe early interventions that have empirical support; and 4) discuss how the parent–child and family relationships can be affected through this process. This information can provide professionals with information they can use to assist families who make critical and potentially life-changing decisions for children with ASD.

Copyright information:

© 2017 Elder et al.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/).

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