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Table 3 Adjusted linear regression associations for ages at events, National Survey of Children’s Health, 2016—2018

From: The diagnostic odyssey of autism: a cross-sectional study of 3 age cohorts of children from the 2016–2018 National Survey of Children’s Health

  First developmental services (n = 2164) First intervention/education plan (n = 2133) First autism diagnosis (n = 2303)
β (95% CI) β (95% CI) β (95% CI)
Age cohort
 Early childhood Ref Ref Ref
 Middle childhood 1.49*** (1.18, 1.81) 1.80*** (1.46, 2.15) 1.88*** (1.50, 2.27)
 Adolescence 2.33*** (1.93, 2.73) 2.60*** (2.23, 2.98) 3.16*** (2.72, 3.60)
Sex
 Male Ref Ref Ref
 Female 0.53* (0.01, 1.05) 0.05 (− 0.34, 0.43) 0.76** (0.22, 1.31)
Race/Ethnicity
 Non-Hispanic White Ref Ref Ref
 Non-Hispanic Black 0.18 (− 0.45, 0.80) − 0.28 (-0.76, 0.20) − 0.28 (-0.82, 0.26)
 Hispanic/Latinx − 0.40* (− 0.76, − 0.04) − 0.53** ( − 0.93, − 0.13) − 1.00*** (− 1.49, − 0.52)
 Other or Multiracial − 0.09 (− 0.54, 0.36) − 0.36 ( − 0.86, 0.13) − 0.38 (− 0.83, 0.07)
Severity of ASD
 Mild Ref Ref Ref
 Moderate 0.10 (− 0.26, 0.46) − 0.26 (− 0.59, 0.07) − 0.62** (− 1.03, − 0.22)
 Severe − 0.28 (− 0.88, 0.31) − 0.54 (− 1.11, 0.03) − 1.35*** (− 1.92, − 0.79)
 Missing − 0.38 (− 0.80, 0.04) 0.38 (− 0.74, 1.50) − 1.36*** (− 1.96, 0.76)
Parental education
 High school graduate (or less) 0.40 (− 0.06, 0.86) 0.59* (0.13, 1.06) 0.83** (0.29, 1.37)
 AA or some college 0.26 (− 0.13, 0.65) 0.11 (− 0.26, 0.49) 0.29 (− 0.14, 0.72)
 Bachelor’s Degree (or higher) Ref Ref Ref
Family Income, % of FPLa
  < 100% 0.17 (− 0.38, 0.71) 0.28 (− 0.30, 0.87) − 0.55 (− 1.18, 0.08)
 100–199% − 0.04 (− 0.54, 0.47) − 0.14 (− 0.61, 0.33) − 0.53 (− 1.14, 0.08)
 200–399% − 0.13 (− 0.52, 0.26) − 0.04 (− 0.46, 0.39) − 0.34 (− 0.83, 0.16)
  > 400% Ref Ref Ref
Family structure
 Two-parent household Ref Ref Ref
 Other household/missing 0.38 (− 0.02, 0.77) 0.17 (− 0.22, 0.57) 0.69** (0.25, 1.14)
Type of healthcare provider to diagnose
 Yes Ref Ref Ref
 No − 0.08 (− 0.39, 0.24) − 0.08 (− 0.40, 0.24) − 0.10 (− 0.48, 0.29)
Type of healthcare provider to diagnose
 Specialist Ref Ref Ref
 Primary care physician 0.22 (− 0.23, 0.68) 0.35 (− 0.03, 0.74) − 0.17 (− 0.66, 0.32)
 School psychologist 0.77* (0.16, 1.38) 1.07*** (0.65, 1.50) 0.64* (0.05, 1.23)
 Non-school psychologist 0.71** (0.17, 1.25) 1.01*** (0.52, 1.50) 1.18*** (0.59, 1.76)
 Psychiatrist 1.36*** (0.67, 2.06) 1.06** (0.37, 1.74) 1.79*** (1.03, 2.54)
  1. *p < .05; **p < .01; ***p < .001
  2. ASD autism spectrum disorder. aFPL = % of federal poverty level. All models were adjusted for survey year, age cohort, child and household characteristics, and the type of doctor to first diagnose the child with an ASD. Child characteristics include sex, race/ethnicity, and severity of ASD. Household characteristics parental education, % of FPL and family structure. All analyses were weighted to account for the complex survey design