An exploration of how professional perspective influences experience of the autism diagnostic process

Palmer, Michael (2021). An exploration of how professional perspective influences experience of the autism diagnostic process. University of Birmingham. Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D.

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There is currently a ‘crisis’ in autism diagnosis with a high proportion of parents reportedly dissatisfied with the way that autism is being diagnosed (NAS, 2014; Crane et al., 2018). Rates of autism have risen dramatically as awareness has increased and the criteria for diagnosis have changed (Taylor, Jick and MacLaughlin, 2013). Autism overlaps and intersects with many other areas of childhood additional need and can be conceptualised in a variety of different ways. The aim of this research is to explore educational psychologists’ (EPs’) and paediatricians’ professional perspectives in relation to autism and its diagnosis. This was attempted by considering the impact of the bioecological and medical perspectives on experience of multi-disciplinary autism diagnosis with implications for key stakeholders discussed. Three EPs and three paediatricians were sampled to take part in individual semi-structured interviews to explore their views. The subsequent data obtained were analysed using deductive thematic analysis (Braun and Clarke, 2006). This research found that the adoption of a bioecological perspective by the EPs and a medical model by the paediatricians significantly impacted upon their experience of autism diagnosis and participation within a multi-disciplinary team.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ap.Ed.&ChildPsy.D.
Licence: All rights reserved All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education, Department of Disability, Inclusion and Special Needs
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: L Education > LC Special aspects of education
R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics


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