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Factors influencing access to early intervention for families of children with developmental disabilities: A narrative review

Sapiets, Suzi J, Totsika, Vasiliki, Hastings, Richard P (2020) Factors influencing access to early intervention for families of children with developmental disabilities: A narrative review. Journal of Applied Research in Intellectual Disabilities, . ISSN 1360-2322. E-ISSN 1468-3148. (doi:10.1111/jar.12852) (KAR id:85371)

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Early intervention (EI) can improve a range of outcomes for families of children with developmental disabilities. However, research indicates the level of access does not always match the level of need. To address disparities, it is essential to identify factors influencing access.


We propose a framework where access to EI is conceptualised as a process that includes three main phases. A narrative review examined potential barriers, facilitators and modifiers of access for each phase.


The process of access to EI includes the following: 1) recognition of need, 2) identification or diagnosis and 3) EI provision or receipt. Several factors affecting access to EI for each phase were identified, related to the family, services, the intersection between family and services, and the context.


A broad range of factors appear to influence the process of access to EI for this population. Our framework can be used in future research investigating access. Broad implications for policy, practice and future research to improve access to EI are discussed.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/jar.12852
Uncontrolled keywords: Autism, Developmental Disabilities, Disparities, Early Intervention, Intellectual Disabilities, Service Utilisation
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women > HQ767.9 Children. Child developement
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Tizard
Funders: [37325] UNSPECIFIED
Depositing User: Suzi Sapiets
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2021 10:40 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 17:45 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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