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Korean American Parents’ Experiences in Disclosing Their Child’s Autism Diagnosis to The Affected Child

Principal Investigator(s):

HyeYoung Kim

Grant Type:

Graduate Research




The Regents of the University of California, Los Angeles

Year Awarded:



In Progress


Education and School Aged Children; Families


Given that parents are usually the first people to recognize a child’s disability and are also the primary caregivers responsible for providing a holistic approach to treatment, they play a critical role in the disclosure decisions related to a child’s diagnosis. Although informing children of their diagnosis is a sensitive topic for both the parents and the affected child, it has not yet been extensively studied. At the same time, multiple studies have shown that Asian cultures tend to adopt a different perspective toward individuals with disabilities than those in Western contexts. Consequently, in situations with relatively low awareness of and fewer resources for autism, parents might be reluctant to have their children formally diagnosed and/or try to withhold information about their child’s disability (Kim & Dodds, 2022). Such an attitude implies potential challenges for parents in openly discussing the diagnosis with their child. The current study aims to examine the experiences of Korean American (KA) parents of autistic children in disclosing diagnoses to affected children. A mixed-methods approach will be utilized to examine the experiences of KA parents in this context. In addition to a secondary analysis of qualitative in-depth interviews conducted in 2021, quantitative survey data will also be obtained and integrated into the study. The results will not only provide details about the attitudes and perspectives of KA parents about informing a child of an autism diagnosis but can also be used as fundamental information by professionals working with diverse families and parents who are considering talking about autism to their children.