Child's autism severity: effect on West Virginia caregiver satisfaction with school services

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Survey data was collected from 301 primary caregivers of children with autism registered at West Virginia Autism Training Center (WV ATC), to examine the impact of child’s autism severity on caregiver satisfaction with school services. Satisfaction with six school services was measured via a 3-point Likert scale: speech-language therapy, occupational therapy, social skills training, physical therapy, behavioral interventions, and assistance in improving study skills. Ordinal logistic regressions showed that caregivers of children with high autism severity were less likely to be satisfied with school services, as compared to caregivers of children with low autism severity (OR’s from 0.45 to 0.39). No significant differences existed in caregiver satisfaction with services between high and low autism severity groups, after addition of caregiver burden to the model. Findings suggest that child’s autism severity is a significant predictor of caregiver satisfaction with school services, and should be considered during development of child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) and evaluation of caregiver satisfaction with the IEP.