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23-04-2020 | S.I. : Early Detection In Autism Spectrum Disorder Open Access

Understanding How Parents Make Meaning of Their Child’s Behaviors During Screening for Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Longitudinal Qualitative Investigation

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Auteurs:
Thomas I. Mackie, Ana J. Schaefer, Leah Ramella, Alice S. Carter, Abbey Eisenhower, Manuel E. Jimenez, Angel Fettig, R. Christopher Sheldrick
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Abstract

A family’s journey in understanding their child’s behaviors in relation to Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) frequently begins with screening. This study aimed to characterize the interpretive processes that unfold for parents. We employed longitudinal interviews with 19 families engaged in a community-based multi-stage screening protocol. Parents participated in 1–6 interviews dependent upon children’s length of engagement in the screening protocol; data were analyzed through modified grounded theory. Parents who moved towards understanding their child’s behaviors as ASD expressed (1) sensitization to ASD symptoms, (2) differentiation from other developmental conditions, and (3) use of the ASD diagnosis to explain the etiology of concerning behaviors. Identifying interpretive processes involved during ASD screening provides new opportunities for shared decision-making.

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