SRF008: Autism and Child Welfare: A Descriptive Study at an Integrated Pediatric Primary Care Center
Jenny Raman, BS; Mohsin Khan; Micah Tatum
Context: Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have a 2.4 times higher risk of entering the child welfare system than children without autism. Much of the current literature focuses on the ASD diagnosis as increasing susceptibility to neglect, abuse, and/or involvement with the child welfare services. However, the literature lacks information on autistic children once they have entered the child welfare system and are being evaluated and medically managed by primary care providers. A greater understanding of autistic children in the child welfare system could improve patient outcomes by informing primary care providers as they conduct new patient visits after initial foster care placement, psychological assessments, well child checks, and integrated patient encounters. Objective: This session will allow participants to gain a greater understanding of autistic children in the child welfare system that present for primary care visits. Study Design: Retrospective chart review was conducted using a dataset extracted from the electronic medical record. Institutional Review Board approval was received. Setting: Two pediatric primary care, institutional, ambulatory clinics exclusively serving children in the child welfare system. Dataset was extracted from the electronic medical record. The dataset included race, ethnicity, gender, age, placement type (foster care, kinship, CPS), exposures (physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, domestic violence, other), coexisting conditions (medical, mental health, behavioral), psychotropic medication use, and therapy use (PT, OT, ST). Population studied: Children younger than 18 years old with an ASD diagnosis who presented to either of two pediatric primary care clinics for children in the child welfare system. There were 55 participants in the two-year study period. Expected Results: Anticipated results will describe the autistic patient population who presented to a foster care clinic center using frequencies and percentages for comparison. Description of gender, age, placement type, and exposures prior to child welfare placement among autistic children in child welfare. Coexisting condition analysis will look at the frequencies and percentages of medical conditions, mental health diagnoses, and behavioral issues across different age groups to identify possible age-related differences. Psychotropic medication use and therapy use will also be compared across age groups.