A survey led by the Directors of Social Services West Midlands (ADASS) and Birmingham University, and funded by the NHS, is exploring the ways in which support services and government bodies place blame on parents of autistic children.

The details for the survey were tweeted by Dr Jason Schaub, a lecturer in social work at Birmingham university, on 29 March.

The survey is part of a wider autism and parental blame research project, led by the above organisations and also funded by the NHS, which aims to improve social work practice, and to “ensure families feel heard and understood when they look for help,” according to Schaub’s tweet.

The introduction to the survey, which is 11 pages long, says, “This study seeks to understand how parents of autistic children experience parental blame when they approach health, education, and care services for support.”

The researchers are looking to speak with parents in the UK of both children and young people, who are autistic (both diagnosed and undiagnosed).

The term “parents” is inclusive of: foster carers, kinship carers, special guardians, adoptive parents, carers and family members with key responsibility of autistic (both diagnosed and undiagnosed) children and young people.

The researchers suggest it will take parents around 15 minutes to complete the survey. The team has acknowledged that the survey may cause some parents to feel anxious or to experience negative emotions and has promised to provide a list of resources and organisations that offer support, at the end of the survey and following the interview part of the research.

Parents with questions or queries about the survey can reach out to the team by emailing Debbie or Laura:



There is a QR code in the featured image below that parents can zap to access the survey, but which can also be found here.

A participant information sheet for the survey can be accessed here.

The survey closes on 1 May, 2023.