Developmental disorders, such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, are common and have a large impact on children and their families. These disorders can cause a high degree of disability for the child, and families and carers may also experience a large burden, including financial strain, and experiences of social isolation. Early intervention and appropriate support can improve health outcomes for these children, but this requires early detection. The engagement of parents and carers is crucial to the effectiveness of early intervention and screening.
In Thailand, a national universal Developmental Screening Programme (DSPM) for children was initiated in 2015 (http://thaichilddevelopment.com) to enable early detection of developmental disorders. The programme is implemented by health workers at primary-care clinics, from where children can be referred for further diagnosis and treatment by specialists. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that carers are often not bringing children for follow-up visits after initial screening, and a shortage of specialists creates delays in receiving treatment at referral facilities.
Our study aims to understand these processes better, through exploring carer’s and implementers’ experiences of the DSPM.
- King's College London (UK)
- University College London (UK)
- Thammasat University (Thailand)