Improving Environmental Risk Communication in Autism Spectrum Disorders
This project is a descriptive-normative examination of key stakeholders’ views regarding environmental risk factor communication around autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). The descriptive component of the project will use questionnaire, structured interview and focus group techniques to query ASD researchers, ASD-affected families, and a sample of the general public regarding their views on environmental ASD risk communication principles, practices and concerns; as well as likely responses to risk information in the case of risk message recipients. Using the data obtained from this descriptive phase, a “white paper” will be drafted, which will identify and explore key issues in environmental ASD risk communication, including both empirical issues and normative ethical issues. Once completed, this white paper will be distributed back to participating stakeholders, as well as experts in the risk communication community, who will provide feedback on the identified concerns. Finally, the white paper will be used as a basis for the development of a set of preliminary ethical principles to guide environmental ASD risk communication. Products of this research, including the white paper and the resultant guidelines, will be distributed through both academic channels and the Autism Speaks Website.