Date of this Version


Document Type

DNP Project


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by deficits of social communication, social interaction, and restrictive and/or repetitive behaviors and interests, and currently affects 1 in 54 children in the United States (Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 2020). Presently, no cure exists for ASD; however, therapies and local resources have been utilized to aid patients with ASD and avoid delays in treatment. Early intervention has been shown to be most effective when providers have referred their patients with ASD to the appropriate resources. There are ample studies on clinician awareness of ASD diagnosis and treatment, but few studies have investigated clinicians’ knowledge of treatment and community resources for ASD treatment. The purpose of this quality improvement study was to increase knowledge of community ASD resources among pediatric clinicians in Coral Gables, Florida. A quasi-experimental research design utilizing a pre- and posttest was conducted for this project. A total of N = 43 subjects from a large pediatric hospital in Coral Gables, Florida participated in the study. The study was conducted remotely through a virtual educational presentation, and participants were asked to complete a pre- and post-questionnaire on Qualtrics that assessed their level of knowledge of local ASD resources in Miami-Dade County as well as their demographics, clinical and educational background, and their self-efficacy level. The study’s results revealed a significant increase between the pre- and posttest on knowledge on ASD resources among all provider types increasing over time, t(54) = -3.03, p = .004, (p < 0.05). Pediatric clinicians should receive continuing education on local ASD resources to improve clinical practice and self-efficacy levels, and to improve overall patient outcomes.