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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: An experience sensitive approach to care with and for autistic children and young people in clinical services
Author(s): Mcgreevy, Elaine
Quinn, Alexis
Law, Roslyn
Botha, Monique
Evans, Mairi
Rose, Kieran
Moyse, Ruth
Boyens, Tiegan
Matejko, Maciej
Pavlopoulou, Georgia
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Keywords: neurodiversity
children adolescent mental health services
Issue Date: 15-Mar-2024
Date Deposited: 5-Feb-2024
Citation: Mcgreevy E, Quinn A, Law R, Botha M, Evans M, Rose K, Moyse R, Boyens T, Matejko M & Pavlopoulou G (2024) An experience sensitive approach to care with and for autistic children and young people in clinical services. <i>Journal of Humanistic Psychology</i>.
Abstract: Many support schemes in current autism clinical services for children and young people are based on notions of neuro-normativity with a behavioural emphasis. Such neuro-disorder approaches gradually undermine a person, restrain authentic self-expression, and fail to address the impact of a hostile world on autistic wellbeing. Furthermore, such approaches obscure attention from a fundamental challenge to conceptualise an alternative humanistic informed framework of care for staff working with diagnosed or undiagnosed autistic children and young people. In this paper, we offer an appreciation of the lifeworld-led model of care by Todres, Galvin, & Holloway, (2009). We discuss how mental health practitioners can adopt an experience sensitive framework of healthcare by incorporating the eight dimensions of care into practice. This neuroinclusive approach creates a culture of respect, honours the sovereignty of the person, prioritises personalisation of care based on collaborative decision-making, and enables practitioners to support wellbeing from an existential, humanistic view, grounded in acceptance of autistic diversity of being. Without a fundamental shift towards such neurodivergence-affirming support with practitioners being willing to transform their understanding, real progress cannot happen to prevent poor mental health outcomes for autistic people across the lifespan. This shift is needed to change practice across research, clinical, and educational contexts.
DOI Link: 10.1177/00221678241232442
Rights: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License ( which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (
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