Attributed Meanings and Strategies to Prevent Challenging Behaviors of Hospitalized Children with Autism: Two Perspectives
Journal of Pediatric Health Care
Original Item ID
Understanding is limited of the meaning attributed to behaviors of children with autism spectrum disorder and strategies used to prevent challenging behaviors in the context of hospitalization.
This qualitative study consisted of two focus groups (n = 10; five mothers and five health care providers [HCPs]). Transcripts were analyzed using the qualitative method of narrative inquiry.
The meaning attributed to behaviors by the mothers and the HCPs differed. The mothers attributed behaviors to the child's communication of frustration, hyperactivity, and self-calming. The HCPs attributed challenging behaviors to self-stimulation and child aggression. Strategies to prevent behaviors also differed. Mothers focused on preparation prior to hospitalization and attempts to partner with HCPs. HCPs identified fewer strategies and consulted mothers for strategies to manage challenging behaviors.
HCP and parent collaboration could lead to strategies to increase supports for children with autism spectrum disorder in the hospital to decrease their frustration and challenging behaviors.