Involvement of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the Child Protection System

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Jennifer A Hall-Lande, Amy S Hewitt, Kristine Piescher, Shweta Mishra, Traci L LaLiberte PhD


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.

Suggested Citation

Hall-Lande, J., Hewitt, A., Mishra, S., Pierscher, K., & LaLiberte, T. (2014). Involvement of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the Child Protection System. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 30(4), 237–248.


Peer-Reviewed Article 
Volume 30, Number 4
Jennifer A Hall-Lande or +1 612-626-1721
Institute on Community Integration