Children with developmental concerns in Australia continue to experience inequitable healthcare and service-related delays, even when diagnostic risk is identified. This study sought to explore service and demographic pathway factors leading up to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) assessment, including value of screening measures applied at triage. Following a trial of centralised intake for referred young children with suspected ASD, observational, retrospective pathway data was explored using bivariate and regression analyses. The mean age of 159 children referred with autism symptoms was 3.6 years, and 64% were diagnosed with ASD. Service allocation was associated with diagnosis, whilst screening tool results were not. Improved pathways are needed to limit wasted waiting times and direct each child to needs-based services.
- Developmental delay