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Article
Publication date: 23 September 2019

David Murphy and Josephine Grace Broyd

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate autism awareness training provided to staff working in a high secure psychiatric care (HSPC) hospital.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate autism awareness training provided to staff working in a high secure psychiatric care (HSPC) hospital.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey of staff views who had completed an autism awareness training day.

Findings

All staff who completed the evaluation questionnaire reported that an autism awareness training day had been useful and had increased their knowledge of how to work with individuals who have autism. However, most staff also reported that one day was not long enough and that more case discussion would have been helpful. Although most staff also reported that autism awareness training should be mandatory, motivation to attend such training was considered important. In terms of the number of staff who had completed the training, whilst a wide range of staff groups had attended training, only a minority had done so, with the number of staff completing the training each year remaining relatively constant over a five-year period.

Research limitations/implications

Within the context of promoting Enabling Environments in forensic settings and the recent government consultation paper exploring whether autism awareness training should be mandatory for all those working in health care, further investigation is required into how to increase staff motivation to attend autism awareness training and to explore how it is used during everyday work with patients.

Originality/value

As an initial evaluation of optional autism awareness training delivered in HSPC, the project offers some valuable information in terms of the number of staff who attend such training, what they find useful and how it might be improved for this setting.

Details

Advances in Autism, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3868

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 January 2022

David Murphy and Josephine Grace Broyd

This paper aims to provide a discussion and summary of a clinician survey exploring the experiences of suspected feigned autism.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide a discussion and summary of a clinician survey exploring the experiences of suspected feigned autism.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is an online survey targeting a range of autism professionals, with varying levels of experience, working in different clinical settings.

Findings

Approximately half of the professionals who completed the survey reported experiencing situations of suspected feigning of adult autism across a range of clinical contexts and with various motivations. In terms of best indications of potential feigning, most clinicians reported “textbook” self-descriptions of problem behaviours with vague examples, as well as inconsistent presenting problems and mismatch with any known developmental history. Approximately half of clinicians expressed the view that autism was more difficult to feign than a psychiatric disorder and had experienced situations involving differences in professional opinion as to an individual autism diagnosis.

Research limitations/implications

The survey is limited by a potential sample bias and no information regarding the clinical characteristics of those suspected to have feigned autism. However, these initial findings offer further questions for future research to pursue.

Originality/value

As an initial examination of practicing clinicians’ experiences of suspected feigned autism, the survey highlights the complexities of an autism diagnosis and suggests feigning is a potential clinical scenario. Some guidance as to when to suspect possible feigned autism is also offered, as well as a provisional assessment protocol.

Details

Advances in Autism, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3868

Keywords

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