They were saying that I was a ‘typical Chinese mum’: Chinese parents’ experiences of parent-teacher partnerships for their autistic children

Jodie Smith*, Aspasia Stacey Rabba, Lin Cong, Poulomee Datta, Emma Dresens, Gabrielle Hall, Melanie Heyworth, Wenn Lawson, Patricia Lee, Rozanna Lilley, Najeeba Syeda, Emily Ma, Julia Wang, Rena Wang, Chong Yeow, Elizabeth Pellicano

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Effective parent-teacher partnerships improve outcomes for autistic students. Yet, we know little about what effective partnerships look like for parents of autistic children from different backgrounds. We conducted interviews with 17 Chinese parents of autistic children attending Australian kindergartens/schools to understand their experiences. Parents appreciated the acceptance, opportunities and supports they received in Australia. They had high expectations of children; expectations not often shared by educators. Parents were respectful of teachers’ expertise and polite and undemanding in interactions. Nevertheless, parents were frustrated by inconsistent teaching quality and inadequate communication. Navigating systems was also challenging and parents faced discrimination from teachers and their community. Recommendations include fostering open home-school communication, proactively seeking parents’ expertise about children and explicitly scaffolding parents’ self-advocacy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4888–4900
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Issue number12
Early online date23 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2022. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.

Correction article can be found at Smith, J., Rabba, A.S., Cong, L. et al. Correction: “They Were Saying That I Was a Typical Chinese Mum”: Chinese Parents’ Experiences of Parent–Teacher Partnerships for Their Autistic Children. J Autism Dev Disord (2022).


  • cultural and linguistic diversity
  • Chinese parents
  • parent-teacher partnerships
  • autistic students
  • participatory research


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