Parents' expectations, awareness, and experiences of accessing evidence-based speech-language pathology services for their children with autism

Elle Jane Auert, David Trembath, Joanne Arciuli, Donna Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The aim of this study was to explore the expectations, awareness, and experiences of parents in their efforts to access evidence-based speech-language pathology (SLP) services for their children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Four focus groups were conducted with 20 parents of pre school aged children with ASD and transcripts were analysed using thematic analysis. Two themes emerged to account for the participants' expectations, awareness, and experiences. The two themes, "Speech-language pathology: More than just a business", and "Parents and power", represented the complex interaction between factors including the parents' access to information, their involvement in the therapy process, and their sense of empowerment. The parents in this study expressed a strong desire for evidence-based practice (EBP) to be employed. However, the parents had different views on how EBP should be achieved. The findings of this study demonstrate the importance of involving parents in therapeutic relationships as partners in the decision-making process. This means providing parents with comprehensive information, including research evidence to support the clinical decisions that need to be made, and respecting parents' preferences in the therapy process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-118
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Evidence-based practice
  • Speech-language pathology.

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