An Exploration of Parental Reactions to Autism Diagnosis: The Influences and Evolution of Parents’ Experience
Date of Award
Graduate School of Professional Psychology
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Parents have a variety of emotional reactions to a child being diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This study explores the factors that influence these varying reactions and the process of coping post-diagnosis. A phenomenological qualitative study was conducted to capture parents’ experience of the ASD diagnostic process. Factors that influenced parental reactions included level of initial concern about development, initial conceptualization of ASD, and involvement in the assessment process. Many themes emerged that coincided with parents coping being similar to theories of grief (denial/disbelief, anger, relief etc.). Implications for assessment and treatment of ASD are discussed.
Brenner, Jamie, "An Exploration of Parental Reactions to Autism Diagnosis: The Influences and Evolution of Parents’ Experience" (2015). Graduate School of Professional Psychology: Doctoral Papers and Masters Projects. 2.