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Adapting services for autism: Recommendations from a specialist multidisciplinary perspective using freelisting

Petty, Stephanie ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1453-3313, Bergenheim, Milja-Leea, Mahoney, Georgina and Chamberlain, Lucy (2021) Adapting services for autism: Recommendations from a specialist multidisciplinary perspective using freelisting. Current Psychology.

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The guidance available for tailoring mental health services for autistic people is limited and dispersed. Practitioners attempting to appropriately adapt mental healthcare and therapy provision report low confidence and inconsistency in their approach. This study contributes to the guidance by providing a shortlist of usable and priority adaptations for diagnostic and therapy services as described by multidisciplinary staff members responsible for the design and delivery of a specialist autism service in the UK. Individual freelisting interviews were conducted with 15 staff, who were asked to list the ways that they adapt their practice individually, within therapy, and collectively as a service. Salience and cultural consensus analyses demonstrated the following agreed priority service adaptations: ensuring the suitability of the service environment with consideration of sensory demands, adapting communication, knowing individual gender identity preferences and minimising client uncertainty. Detailed examples are given for flexibly adapting therapy to individual needs to inform general and specialist services. The findings require replication and evaluation.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-021-02061-3
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
School/Department: School of Education, Language and Psychology
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/5528

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