The journal “Pediatrics” recently published a manuscript co-authored by Dr. Lisa Ibanez, READi Lab Assistant Director, and Dr. Jill Locke, Assistant Professor of Speech and Hearing Sciences. The article is titled “Parent Perceptions About Communicating With Providers Regarding Early Autism Concerns,” and it describes the results of focus groups we conducted with parents as part of our HRSA-funded “Pathways Study.”
Challenges in parent-provider communication about ASD concerns can prevent young children from receiving early, specialized treatment. In this qualitative study, we asked parents of young children with ASD to describe their experiences talking to their health care providers about ASD concerns. Our goal was to identify barriers to communication and identify strategies for improving these conversations. Parents described many aspects of the process, including: the characteristics of their child that caused their concern, how they brought up their concerns to others and what responses they received, how they learned about autism, what they perceived as barriers to – and facilitators of – acting on their concerns, and what recommendations they had for providers. Our results suggested the need for increased use of shared decision-making strategies by providers, such as responding promptly to parental concerns, helping them weigh options, and monitoring the family’s progress as they navigate the service delivery system.
Locke, J.*, Ibanez, L. V.*, Posner, E., Frederick, L., Carpentier, P., & Stone, W. L. (2020). Parent perceptions about communicating with providers regarding early autism concerns. Pediatrics, 145(Supplement 1), S72-S80. *Contributed equally to the manuscript as co-first authors.