Back to top

Exploring the perceptions of autistic people, their families and staff of social communication

Live: ARC Theme 

What we are doing:

The research is a multi-method design involving qualitative interviews and video-ethnographic methods. The former will investigate what autistic individuals, their families and staff say about their experience of social communication in mental health ward rounds. The latter will enable the researcher to actually see what happens in real world practice.

Why we are doing it:

The research will enable participants to share their understanding of the (social) communication difficulties of autistic individuals from both an autistic and non-autistic perspective. Participants will also be able to talk about their experiences of communicating with autistic individuals, or in the case of autistic people themselves communicating with others. Finally, it will enable the researcher to gain an insight into the differences between how people think they communicate (as well as what they perceive is ideal practice) in ward rounds against how interaction actually happens in the real world.         

What the benefits will be:

The research will identify people’s level of understanding about autism and the social communication difficulties of autistic people, from both an autistic and non-autistic viewpoint. It will also present participants’ views about the character of ward round communication and how ward round communication can be improved. Finally, in the spirit of sensitive enquiry and peer engagement, it also gives participants an opportunity to reflect on social communication with autistic individuals, and identify interventions to improve communication for autistic adults in mental health.  

Who we are working with:

The researcher is working closely with her supervision team based at the University of Leicester and staff and managers at Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust. 


Alison Drewett,

Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash