Format of Original
Elsevier (WB Saunders)
Journal of Pediatric Nursing
Original Item ID
doi: 10.1016/j.pedn.2015.04.008; PubMed Central, PMID: 25981127; Shelves: RJ 245 .J6x 2015 v. 30, Memorial Periodicals
Autism diagnosis rates trail significantly in the African American community. This pre-test post-test pilot study evaluated an African American inner-city church health ambassadors (HAs) autism spectrum disorder (ASD) awareness training session. The participants included 12 HAs who attended the 1 hour training session organized by the National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. Results of surveys showed higher mean scores post training for (1) HA attitudes about the potential for children to improve with applied behavior analysis therapy; (2) HA self-efficacy for having information about ASD screening materials; (3) strategies HAs could use to help parents/caregivers of children with developmental delays and challenging behaviors; (4) HA confidence in referrals for children with signs of ASD; (5) HA knowledge of measures to take to maximize a child's chance of receiving an ASD evaluation; and (6) HA comfort for talking to parents about children with challenging behaviors. Several of these effects were maintained 3 months later. Findings underscore the usefulness of the intervention for increasing the dissemination of knowledge about ASD and the opportunity to positively affect ASD screening, early intervention, and policy standards applicable to this vulnerable population.