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Recommended adaptations to therapy services for autistic adults from specialist clinicians

Petty, Stephanie ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1453-3313, Donaldson, Charlotte, Jesse, Whetton and Natasha, Baxter (2022) Recommended adaptations to therapy services for autistic adults from specialist clinicians. Current Psychology.

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Autistic adults are likely to receive comorbid mental health diagnoses, however, the recommended therapies for these difficulties often fail to meet their diverse needs. Currently, recommended adaptations for therapies are confined to local clinical practices and are therefore widely variable. This qualitative study sought specialist opinion on achievable adaptations to psychological and occupational therapy with autistic clients, as well as adaptations for full service design. Seven semi-structured interviews were conducted with clinicians from a specialist assessment and therapy service in the UK. Clinicians described autism-related difficulties to be considered when designing services; they described the changes implemented within therapy and by the service as a whole. These included increasing understanding of what clients can expect when travelling, arriving and waiting for therapy, agreeing social etiquette within therapy appointments, reducing sensory demands such as from noise, smells and patterns in the environment and working systemically with families and care services. The solution-focused insights are intended to support practitioners working across specialist and non-specialist services by sharing the knowledge from specialist services that good practice guidance calls for. The findings are preliminary and need to be considered alongside descriptions of good practice from autistic people.

Item Type: Article
Status: Published
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-022-04034-6
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
School/Department: School of Education, Language and Psychology
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/7126

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