Parents' Concerns Are Associated with Early Intervention Evaluation and Eligibility Outcomes

Mohadeseh Solgi, Alicia Feryn, Alison E. Chavez, Laura Wilson, Margaret King, Julie Scholz, Eric Fombonne, Katharine E. Zuckerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


ABSTRACT:Objective:To test the association of parents' concerns with early intervention (EI) developmental services outcomes including evaluation, eligibility, and enrollment in services.Method:We collected survey data on parents' concerns and EI service use data from a sample of 428 children referred to EI from 2016 to 2018 in 6 Oregon primary care clinics serving lower-income families as part of a developmental and autism spectrum disorder screening intervention. We assessed EI service use trajectories and associations of the presence of parent concern, age of child at the time of parents' concerns, number of concerns, and type of provider concern, with EI evaluation, EI eligibility, and enrollment in EI services, using bivariate testing and multivariable logistic regression.Results:Only 22.9% of children referred to EI were enrolled in services 6 months later. Children whose parents had developmental and/or behavioral concerns were more likely to receive an EI evaluation and were also more likely to be eligible for services, compared with children whose parents had no concerns. There was no association between age, number of concerns, and type of concern with EI evaluation, eligibility, or services enrollment.Conclusion:Although only a minority of children referred to EI enrolled in services, the presence of parent concern is strongly associated with EI services evaluation and eligibility outcomes. Study results suggest that providers should assess the presence of parent concern when deciding on EI referrals and provide more support to parents who are not concerned at all.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E145-E152
JournalJournal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022


  • developmental delays
  • early identification
  • parent concerns

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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