Parents’ experiences of an early autism diagnosis: Insights into what they need

Published July 2019
Little research has directly examined parental needs following their child’s early diagnosis of autism. The experiences and support needs of 13 mothers and fathers who had a young child diagnosed (less than 36 months) were explored via a series of semi-structured interviews and a focus group. Thematic analysis identified four key themes: emotional response to diagnosis, ability to manage the uncertainty post-diagnosis, resourcefulness, and experiences of sharing the diagnosis. Parents highlighted that receipt of an early diagnosis triggered an array of emotions, which influenced their coping. Charting parents’ lived experiences following an early diagnosis provides valuable insights that have important implications for the development of resources and supports for families at this time.
Rabba, A.S., Dissanayake, C. & Barbaro, J. (2019). Parents’ experiences of an early autism diagnosis: Insights into their needs. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 66, 101415. doi: 10.1016/j.rasd.2019.101415

Please note: some publications may only be accessible to registered users.