What do speech-language pathologists think parents expect when treating their children with autism spectrum disorder?

David Trembath, Ruth Hawtree, Joanne Arciuli, Teena Caithness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Despite the importance of Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) collaborating with parents in the treatment of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), few studies have examined the nature of this working relationship and how best to facilitate collaboration. To explore what SLPs think parents of children with ASD expect of them when it comes to the delivery of evidence-based interventions. Method: The participants were 22 SLPs from Australia who specialised in ASD and who each participated in a semi-structured interview. Recordings were transcribed and analysed according to the procedures outlined by Braun and Clarke. Result: The SLPs expressed strong support for evidence-based practice (EBP) and indicated that they thought parents expected their children would be provided with evidence-based interventions. However, SLPs identified factors that influenced the way and the extent to which they were able to share information as part of a collaborative decision-making process, including the parents’ education level and the amount of time since their children's diagnoses. Conclusion: The results highlight the challenges that SLPs face when engaging with parents in the delivery of EBP. Strategies that the SLPs had developed to cater to the individual needs of each parent are discussed, along with implications for clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-258
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Speech-Language Pathology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 10 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • autism spectrum disorder
  • evidence-based practice
  • speech-language pathology
  • parent collaboration


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