Document Type

Article

Publication Date

9-2020

Publisher

Elsevier

Source Publication

Journal of Pediatric Health Care

Source ISSN

0891-5245

Abstract

Introduction

The purpose of this study was to explore communication with health care providers from the perceptions of parents before their child's diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder and provide some examples of how communication may contribute to the autism diagnosis.

Method

This study used a qualitative descriptive design with multiple individual structured in-person interviews.

Results

Three themes captured parents’ (n = 8) descriptions of the phases of communication during their children's diagnoses including, (1) anguished questioning, (2) urgently seeking help, and (3) expecting a diagnosis. In addition, three themes characterized the communication style that parents needed, although not always received, in each of the periods of diagnosis including (1) compassionate curiosity, (2) acknowledgment and affirmation, and (3) engagement with parents.

Discussion

Results point to opportunities for pediatric providers to use a more empathic and engaging communication style during the diagnostic process with better identification of education and support needed by parents and families.

Comments

Accepted version. Journal of Pediatric Health Care, Vol. 34, No. 5 (September-October 2020): 453-461. DOI. © Elsevier. Used with permission.

Available for download on Monday, November 01, 2021

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