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Open AccessArticle

Customizing Methodological Approaches in Qualitative Research on Vulnerable Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

1
VIVE - The Danish Center for Social Science Research, Copenhagen K 1052, Denmark
2
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Centre, Mental Health Services Capital Region Copenhagen, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen DK-1165, Denmark
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Societies 2019, 9(4), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/soc9040075
Received: 4 October 2019 / Revised: 30 October 2019 / Accepted: 5 November 2019 / Published: 7 November 2019
Children with autism spectrum disorders often suffer from poor school inclusion, loneliness, and poor quality of life. Suitable support options for overcoming these risks are lacking, partly because children’s perspectives concerning their support needs are unknown. We need to improve the involvement of children in social research. However, involving children with autism in research is not always simple, and there is scant literature on qualitative methods for addressing challenges related to involving children with unique characteristics such as autism. Children with autism may lack mimetic expressions to reflect their feelings, and they may answer questions very briefly despite having a nuanced perspective on the issue addressed, thus leaving the researcher with few indicators to act upon. Consequently, it can be difficult for the researcher to “read” the child, assess ethical important moments, and adapt the methodology to the individual child. Based on a qualitative study of 22 children with autism in the capital region of Denmark, this article offers reflections on methodological and practical challenges in involving children with autism in research. Matching expectations between researcher and child, staying open to communication forms, and posing precise questions are shown to be important to have insight into the children’s perspectives. View Full-Text
Keywords: qualitative method; children; autism spectrum disorders; methodological challenges qualitative method; children; autism spectrum disorders; methodological challenges
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Rasmussen, P.S.; Pagsberg, A.K. Customizing Methodological Approaches in Qualitative Research on Vulnerable Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Societies 2019, 9, 75.

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