Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Communication Sciences and Disorders

First Advisor

Dr. Jessica R. Stewart

Second Advisor

Dr. Theresa Mata-Pistokache

Third Advisor

Dr. Ralph Carlson


The present study examined and compared the knowledge, screening, and diagnostic practices of health care practitioners from Mexico and the United States of America (U.S.) as they relate to autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The participants included 56 healthcare professionals from U.S. and 16 healthcare professionals from Mexico. Data was collected via an online survey. Overall, participants achieved a mean knowledge accuracy of 0.58 (SD = 0.13). The mean accuracy of knowledge in Mexico was 0.52 (SD = 0.13) and the mean accuracy of knowledge in the U.S. was 0.60 (SD = 0.13). Location, years of experience, patient contact, and comfort level, were found to have a significant effect on the accuracy of knowledge. The screening and diagnostic practices in both the U.S. and in Mexico were found to differ in areas such as screening and diagnostic tools used, criteria, healthcare practitioners involved, observation of children in multiple settings, assessment setting, and others. Knowledge of the screening and diagnostic practices relating to ASD being implemented in both the U.S. and in Mexico is necessary as it contributes to the limited research being conducted in the area of ASD in Mexico and provides a better understanding of screening and diagnostic practices of ASD being implemented by different healthcare practitioners. This information will allow healthcare practitioners to recognize if current gold standard recommendations are being consistently followed across healthcare professions regarding ASD. In addition, this information will allow for improved diagnostic and intervention practices for individuals with ASD in the U.S. as the majority of immigrants are from Mexico.


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