Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Communication Sciences and Disorders

First Advisor

Dr. Ruth Crutchfield

Second Advisor

Dr. Jessica Stewart

Third Advisor

Diana Farias


Christensen et al. (2016) highlights how "there are disparities by race/ethnicity in estimated ASD prevalence, particularly for Hispanic children, as well as disparities in the age of earliest comprehensive evaluation and presence of a previous ASD diagnosis or classification, suggesting that access to treatment and services might be lacking or delayed for some children" With an increase in autism prevalence and Hispanic population, there's a crucial demand for effective servicing and referrals for early identification of Autism.

The aim of this study was to analyze how prepared early educators are in identifying children that fall under the category of autism in preschool Hispanic populations. A survey method was implemented where early educators were asked to identify characteristics that are present in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The researcher anonymously surveyed early educator personnel from Texas, Florida, and California (predominantly Hispanic states). Survey questions included: demographics, educator training, educator awareness, educator self-perceptions, educator referral resources, and perceived barriers.


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