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Title: The impact of an Asperger Syndrome Diagnosis : a phenomenological exploration into the lived experience of Asperger Syndrome
Author: Daves, Maria Margaret
Awarding Body: University of Wales
Current Institution: Regent's University London
Date of Award: 2009
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This phenomenological research study explores the lived experience of an Asperger syndrome (AS) diagnosis, particularly focusing on the impacts of diagnosis. The proposed sample included seven co-researchers, four women, three men, with lived experiences of an AS diagnosis. Asperger syndrome is a lifelong developmental disability (APA, 1994). Using Colaizzi's phenomenological methodology (1978), a total of twelve themes emerged from the data. These themes are produced in an exhaustive description, this displays the lived experiences of an AS diagnosis. The analysis displayed a total of 12 themes: Impact of diagnosis leading to changes in social and family relationships; Feelings arising from diagnosis; Personal changes through diagnosis; Impact of a diagnosis an inhibiting factor; Personal changes in identity and similarity with others; Feeling arising before diagnosis; Accessibility to Autism services; Feelings arising from child's diagnosis; Impact of child's diagnosis leading to changes in family, social and intimate relationships; Personal changes in identity through a mother and carer role; Uncertainty about future; Lack of psychological & emotional support. The co-researchers reported a change in identity and relationship(s) with others. Coresearchers reported a lack of psychological support provided after the AS diagnosis. This shows an urgent need for psychological therapy among this client group. I propose Counselling Psychologists can fulfil this need and offer a range of support through different means including post-diagnostic follow-ups, counselling (postdiagnosis) and ongoing group support. These findings will be discussed in detail.
Supervisor: Kirkland Hadley, Nick Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Asperger Syndrome--Autism