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Team SEND: Socioeconomic Effect on Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Team SEND: Socioeconomic Effect on Neurodevelopmental Disorders Image
Raised toward our $1,500 Goal
28 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on April 06, at 11:59 PM EDT
Project Owners

Socioeconomic Effect on Neurodevelopment Disorders

Our Mission

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disability that is usually diagnosed during early childhood, between the ages of 4 and 5. Receiving an earlier diagnosis of ASD allows for more effective early interventions. Team SEND is interested in examining the relationship between socioeconomic factors and the timing and quality of an ASD diagnosis. We will conduct our research within the state of Maryland, which has a socioeconomically diverse population. In the long term, we hope our research can influence policy and practices in Maryland that improve healthcare access for individuals with ASD. 

Study Design

We plan to use a mixed-method design by conducting both interviews and surveys with our sample, which will include parents and caregivers of children with ASD in the state of Maryland. A mixed-method approach allows our team to analyze both qualitative data from interviews and quantitative data from the surveys. Interviews provide us with an in-depth understanding of the diagnostic process for families of children with ASD, but we are limited in our ability to conduct these interviews with a large sample. Thus, conducting surveys will allow us to widen our scope, target a larger sample, and collect tangible quantitative and qualitative data. 

Recruitment and Sampling

To recruit participants for surveys and interviews, we plan to conduct outreach with community support groups in Maryland. We hope to develop an understanding of the community, build a foundation of trust, and make connections with our potential participants. We will provide community centers in Maryland with flyers containing information about involvement in our research. The goal for the survey sample will be at least 50 parents and caregivers of children with ASD in Maryland. The interview sample will be drawn from the survey sample, with a total of 10 to 15 interviews. 

Data Collection Plan

Surveys will be shared via email and accessible via QR code. Questionnaires will be developed on the Qualtrics XM survey platform using an adaptation of existing questionnaires. Interviews will be conducted over Zoom for accessibility. The interview questions will be developed by the team. Demographic data (e.g., age, income, race, etc.) will be collected in both interviews and surveys.

Equity in Our Research Process 

Conducting interviews allows families and caregivers to voice their needs and experiences openly. Team SEND will use inclusive language to make participants feel as comfortable and included as possible. We will focus on our stakeholders and their comfort level throughout this process as we will touch on potentially sensitive topics for some individuals. Finally, we will compensate participants for their time and participation in our research.

Budget Breakdown

Conferences: At conferences, we will share our research findings and observe other studies in the field. Ideally, the conferences we attend will be in the region to reduce costs associated with flying. Costs for conferences may include:    

  • Meals for each day team members are in attendance

  • Conference attendance fees (varies by conference)

  • Transportation (flights or gas costs for driving)

  • Hotel costs for each night team members are in attendance

Organization Meetings and Outreach: Through these meetings, we can connect with community organizations, offer our time, and encourage participation in our research. Costs include:

  • $15 for paper and printing flyers 

  • $100 for food at meetings 

Compensation for Participation: We will compensate participants equivalent to an hour of their work/time to show our appreciation and offer an incentive. Costs include: 

  • $20 per hour of each interviewee’s time 

  • $20 gift card for a raffle for participation in and completion of our survey


Follow us @teamsend2026  or on Facebook at Send Gems

Gifts in support of the University of Maryland are accepted and managed by the University of Maryland College Park Foundation, Inc., an affiliated 501(c)(3) organization authorized by the Board of Regents. Contributions to the University of Maryland are tax deductible as allowed by law. Please see your tax advisor for details.

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Thank you so much for your support! Every dollar counts!



This level will help secure paper and print flyers in order to recruit parents and caregivers to participate in interviews and surveys.



This level will fund compensation for parents and caregivers that voluntarily participated in our research and give our participants recognition of time spent with us.


Meals at Conferences

Conferences are an important an important event for us to attend and it’s hard to attend an event hungry! This level will allow us to buy meals while at conferences.


Meals at Community Meetings

This level will assist in catering any meetings we have with community organizations to show our appreciation for allowing us to work with them.


Conference Fees

Conferences will allow us to share our research findings with the field, capture the interest of others, and learn from other studies we observe while there. This level will help us attend conferences.

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