Ready, set, go! Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder: decisions of readiness to visit a museum
Pirri, Kayla Marie
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Little is known about the factors involved in parents’ with a child with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) decisions to visit a community outing with their family. The purpose of this research is to describe the factors that families consider when making a decision to visit a museum of science with their child with ASD. Data were analyzed based on data from a previous study in which observations and interviews were completed in order to describe the experiences of nine children and their families visiting a science museum. The findings indicated that families considered their child and his/her age and abilities, the community environment, and the features of the activities in the community space as a family when deciding whether their child was ready to visit the museum. Additionally, parents appeared to consider their available strategies for use while in the community when making readiness decisions. The information learned in this study may aid families who are trying to appraise whether their child is ready for a family community outing. Additionally, findings from this research may benefit museums interested in creating inclusive experiences for families with a child with ASD. Recommendations are provided for future research in the area of readiness for community outings for families with a child with ASD.