Postprint of: Ying, KC, Browne, G, Hutchinson, M, Cashin, A & Binh, BV, 2012, 'Autism in Vietnam: the case for the development and evaluation of an information book to be distributed at the time of diagnosis', Issues in Mental Health Nursing, vol. 33, no. 5, pp. 288-292.
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Autism is not generally well understood by the community in the West or in Asia. A diagnosis of autism is distressing for all families. When families receive the diagnosis they are often not able to fully appreciate what it means or process the information given to them. Booklets exist in English that contain relevant autism related information but few have been evaluated. In Vietnam, parents do not have ready access to autism related information. This paper makes the case for offering a Vietnamese language information resource/booklet for parents to be distributed at the beginning of the diagnostic process and evaluating its usefulness. In developed countries autism has been recognised since the 1940s (Kanner, 1943). More recently it is being increasingly recognised in children with average and above intelligence. In Vietnam, a Western view of autism is just developing. Consequently community resources are undeveloped. The community, in general, and health services for children, in particular, have a rudimentary understanding of autism. This paper discusses a Western understanding of autism, autism in Vietnam, and suggests one possible strategy for addressing the educational needs around autism in Vietnam.