School of Behavioral Sciences
Autism, Family, Communication, Language Development
Developmental Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences
Sargent, Zoe, "Autism and Communication: A Phenomenology of Parents’ Perspectives" (2018). Senior Honors Theses. 798.
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are characterized by language impairments and are often treated with a variety of communication interventions. In addition to these interventions, the parents of autistic children have to learn how to care for and communicate with their children on a daily basis, especially when their children do not speak. This study made use of phenomenological investigation techniques to explore (1) what parents understand about communication with their nonspeaking autistic children and (2) what particular strategies they find to be effective. Six mothers of autistic children were interviewed, and resulting themes were divided according to parents’ understandings and the formal and informal strategies they use. Implications for practice and future research are given.