‘We are listening’ Mother-led research exploring inclusive communication between autistic young people and their families

Helen Driver*, Joanna Reynolds, Tina Cook, Catherine Bailey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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This research engages Autoethnographic Participatory Action Research (APAR) to explore family communication within and between families of autistic young people in emerging adolescence. Autistic young people often have diverse ways of communicating and differences between family members’ communication can result in barriers to family interaction. Much of the existing research in communication in autistic young people within family settings centres around younger children and little is known, therefore, about communication in families of autistic children in middle childhood as they meet the challenges of adolescence. This parent-led study engaged mothers from five families as co-researchers to explore communication within their own families. The action-reflection cycle of the APAR methodology proved to be an effective vehicle for gaining deeper understandings of the young person’s unique situated communication. Findings presented in this article identify the importance of time and space as key enablers to inclusive communication within families.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalDisability and Society
Early online date5 Apr 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Apr 2023

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