Raising An Adolescent With Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Qualitative Study
Ho, Hilda Sze Wing
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The aim of this study was to investigate parent experiences of raising an adolescent with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Nine families participated in semi-structured in-depth interviews. Using thematic analysis, informed by grounded theory principles, four themes were constructed to represent the parents narratives of their caregiving journey: 1) Rippling Effect of Loss; 2) Becoming a Parent-Professional; 3) One Size Fits None; and 4) Preparing for The Future. Parental narratives reflect the tension they experience with the school system and the frustration with dealing with services that do not grow with their childs needs. Findings also indicate that, over the years, parents develop a specialized skill set that helps them navigate the ever-changing ASD landscape.