A Qualitative Study of Autism Policy in Canada: Seeking Consensus on Children’s ServicesJune 30, 2015
Cody Shepherd, Charlotte Waddell. (2015, June). A Qualitative Study of Autism Policy in Canada: Seeking Consensus on Children’s Services. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
Canadian autism policy has been unusually contentious, with parents resorting to litigation to secure services for their children in several provinces. To ascertain whether consensus was possible on improving services, we conducted an in-depth qualitative interview study with 39 parents, policymakers and researchers across the country. Parents vividly described the stresses of caring for their children, with considerable sympathy from researchers. Policymakers in turn struggled to balance the needs of all children. Yet participants agreed on the need for more comprehensive services across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, and on the need to “do more for all” children. Our findings suggest that there is an emerging consensus on improving autism services in Canada—which should greatly benefit children.
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