Perceptions, Experiences, and Needs of Parents of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Children with Autism: a Scoping Review

Despina Papoudi, Clara R. Jørgensen, Karen Guldberg, Hedda Meadan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)
74 Downloads (Pure)


A scoping review of studies carried out in the UK and the USA was conducted to explore the perceptions, experiences, and needs of culturally and linguistically diverse families of children with autism. Overall, 32 articles met the inclusion criteria, 25 studies were conducted in the USA and 7 studies in the UK. Four themes emerged including (a) knowledge and beliefs about autism and their impact on the family; (b) autism and family life; (c) family experiences of accessing services and support, and parents’ needs; and (d) multilanguage. Findings highlighted that family perceptions of autism are influenced by an often-reported lack of knowledge; experiences include social stigma as well as difficulties in having access to services. Needs indicate the development of culturally sensitive interventions, information in multiple languages, and parent–professional collaboration. Implications for research, policy, and practice are included.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-212
Number of pages18
JournalReview Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2020
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit


  • Autism
  • Bilingualism
  • Culture
  • Ethnicity
  • Multilingualism
  • Parents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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