Murray State Theses and Dissertations


The purpose of this case study was to investigate the diagnostic route of a preschool-aged female initially suspected of having ASD with communication deficits and explore her journey to seek and receive services. In any diagnostic experience, it is imperative that caregivers understand the steps to seek appropriate evaluations and receive necessary services to improve their child’s quality of life. While there are some systemic procedures in place aimed to identify children with communication disorders or other developmental concerns such as ASD early; the ultimate responsibility falls on the caregiver to follow up and follow through. Although diagnostic criteria for various communication disorders and ASD are outlined, diagnostic procedures and pathways for obtaining appropriate evaluations are not clearly defined nor outlined. In order to better identify and serve individuals with communication disorders and their families, barriers to appropriate diagnostic and intervention services should be identified. This retrospective case study outlines the process a preschool-aged female and her family went through to obtain her communication disorder diagnoses and intervention services. Findings recognize the significance of the caregiver’s role in the process, identify barriers and successes in the process of early identification and intervention as well as explore discrepancies in diagnosis of ASD in females.

Year manuscript completed


Year degree awarded


Author's Keywords

Communication Disorders, Language, Autism Spectrum Disorder

Thesis Advisor

Stephanie Schaaf

Committee Member

Alison Brown

Committee Member

Amanda Duncan

Document Type