Get it right, make it easy, see it all: Viewpoints of autistic individuals and parents of autistic individuals about the autism diagnostic process in Australia

Published July 2021
Abstract
Background

The clinical process for being evaluated for an autism diagnosis is often time consuming and stressful for individuals and their caregivers. While experience of and satisfaction with the diagnostic process has been reviewed in the literature, few studies have directly investigated the viewpoints of individuals diagnosed with autism and caregivers of autistic individuals about what is important in the autism diagnostic process.

Method

A Q methodological design was employed to capture the subjective viewpoints about the diagnostic process of individuals on the autism spectrum and caregivers of autistic individuals. Thirty-eight participants responded to a set of 66 statements representing different aspects of the autism diagnostic process.

Results

The analysis identified three significant viewpoints: Get it Right, Make it Easy, and See it All. Participants reflected upon the importance of a comprehensive diagnostic assessment process, ease of diagnostic processes, and a holistic approach to autism diagnosis for autistic individuals and caregivers of autistic individuals.

Conclusions

The findings provide a consumer perspective that encourages reform of the current process for diagnosing autism in Australia, and an insight into what consumers are wanting from diagnostic services. This information is useful for policy-makers and service providers to create a more supportive and client-centred diagnostic process at all levels of service delivery.

Citation
D’Arcy, E., Girdler, S.J., Falkmer, M., Falkmer, T., Whitehouse, A.J.O., Wray, J., Eapen, V. & Evans, K. (2021). Get it right, make it easy, see it all: Viewpoints of autistic individuals and parents of autistic individuals about the autism diagnostic process in Australia, early online. doi.org/10.1016/j.rasd.2021.101792

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