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Parents’ views and experiences of talking about autism with their children

Crane, L; Jones, L; Prosser, R; Taghrizi, M; Pellicano, E; (2019) Parents’ views and experiences of talking about autism with their children. Autism 10.1177/1362361319836257. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

The way an autism diagnosis is disclosed to parents has been found to play a crucial role in their acceptance of, and the way they cope with, their child’s diagnosis. Yet, research into parents’ subsequent experiences of disclosing a diagnosis to their children, and talking to their families about autism more generally, is limited. Using an online survey, the current study examined 558 parents’ experiences of talking about autism with their autistic and non-autistic children. Most parents (n=379, 67.9%) had told their autistic children about their diagnosis. Despite few parents (n=163, 20.4%) receiving advice or support regarding the disclosure of the diagnosis, those that had disclosed felt satisfied with the process (n = 319, 84.2%) and felt confident in talking about autism with their children (n=339, 92.4%). Those who had not told their autistic children about the diagnosis largely planned to discuss this with their child in the future (n=100, 73.5%), felt confident in doing so (n=95, 70.9%), and were satisfied with their decision (n=95, 70.4%). Analysis of open-ended data, using thematic analysis, highlighted the importance of openness and the need to tailor explanations to individual children’s needs, whilst acknowledging that disclosure could often be challenging for parents.

Type: Article
Title: Parents’ views and experiences of talking about autism with their children
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/1362361319836257
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/1362361319836257
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: autism, parents, diagnosis, disclosure, awareness, acceptance
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Psychology and Human Development
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10067565
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