Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Speech-Language Pathology


Connie Summers


With the prevalence of developmental disabilities in the rise in the United States, it is important that these children are identified and diagnosed as soon as possible so that they may receive appropriate medical treatment and intervention. However, research suggests that there are several factors that influence screening, referral, and diagnostic practices. This study aimed to analyze key themes that arose when parents of children with disabilities and pediatric healthcare providers discussed screening, referral, and diagnostic practices for children in El Paso, a medically underserved community. Researchers conducted a 2- phase study that employed both quantitative and qualitative methodology. Results indicated that there were both similarities and differences in how parents and professionals discuss screening, referral, and diagnostic practices in El Paso. Key themes that parents and professional discussed included (1) hassles for parents, (2) lack of understanding/ empathy, and (3) a shortage of professionals. Future research should aim to minimize the gap between these views and improve healthcare practices for children with disabilities.

Keywords: developmental disabilities, screening and referral practices, early childhood intervention (ECI), racial/ ethnic healthcare disparities, socioeconomic disparities




Received from ProQuest

File Size

43 pages

File Format


Rights Holder

Alezandra Martinez