Involvement of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in the child protection system

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16 Scopus citations


The present study provides information about children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) who are involved in the child protection system in a large, Midwestern state. Findings revealed that children with ASD (and children with other disabilities) were more likely to receive services from the child protection system (CPS) than children without disabilities. Children with ASD in CPS were more likely to be elementary school-age (6-10 years) and Caucasian than other children involved in CPS. Children diagnosed with ASD and other disabilities were significantly overrepresented for physical abuse as the primary reason for involvement in CPS. Parental mental health issues were more evident than was expected for families of children with ASD (17%) as compared with children diagnosed with other disabilities (10%) and children not diagnosed with any disability (10%). The implications of these findings as they relate to interventions for children with ASD in CPS are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-248
Number of pages12
JournalFocus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This article was supported in part by Grant H133B080005 from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, by the U.S. Department of Education to the Research and Training Center on Community Living at the University of Minnesota, and by Grant #2-T73MC12835-03-00 from the Maternal Child Health Bureau (MCHB) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded to the University of Minnesota. Support was also provided by the Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare in the School of Social Work at the University of Minnesota.

Publisher Copyright:
© Hammill Institute on Disabilities 2014.


  • autism spectrum disorders
  • child maltreatment
  • disabilities


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