Autistic Parents’ Personal Experiences of Parenting and Support: Messages from an Online Focus Group

Hwang, Se Kwang and Heslop, Philip (2023) Autistic Parents’ Personal Experiences of Parenting and Support: Messages from an Online Focus Group. The British Journal of Social Work, 53 (1). pp. 276-295. ISSN 0045-3102

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Social work with autistic adults should be operated within principles of personalisation and strength-based approach. While many parents are diagnosed on the autistic spectrum as adults, their needs, different parenting styles and capabilities have been often misunderstood, or seldom respected by professionals. To address this gap, this study explored autistic parents’ experiences of parenting and support. In order to examine ‘real-life’ through the parent’s own points of view, an online focus group was used to explore seven autistic parents’ own perspectives and experiences. Data were analysed via thematic techniques. This study found that the parents claimed that autism may not impact always on their parenting capacity, and, when it does, they can succeed in raising their children, especially their autistic children, if they are provided with appropriate support services. But their parenting style and capabilities were misunderstood by professionals who used traditional pathologising assumptions on parental capacity. This study concluded that dismantling stereotypical norms of autism and lack of knowledge of autism within professionals is needed to change to properly assess autistic parent’s needs and their capacity using strength-based approach.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: autism, parenting, social support, strength-based approach
Subjects: L500 Social Work
L900 Others in Social studies
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 30 Jun 2022 14:49
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2023 09:15

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