The focus of the study was to explore parental experiences of raising a child with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD). A mixed-method approach consisting of questionnaires and semi-structured interviews was used in order to elicit parental perspectives of raising a child with ASD. Two semi-structured interviews were conducted with parents of children with ASD. Questionnaires were sent to parents of children with ASD in two special schools. The findings indicate that although each of the parents had a child with ASD, their experiences were all different. Many interesting accounts were documented and a wealth of information regarding the characteristic traits that children with ASD portray was recorded. The findings suggested that the majority of the parents experienced a low level of support from agencies and professionals. The general verdict was that of poor communication and a lack of understanding of parents' needs following formal diagnosis. Finally, a series of coping strategies were discovered ranging from family support to paid help.
- Autistic spectrum disorder
- Special educational needs