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Title: An interpretative phenomenological analysis of parents' understanding of their daughters' autism spectrum condition
Author: Senior, Hannah Elizabeth
ISNI:       0000 0004 7972 3366
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2019
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Research into the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) often reports males as being more frequently diagnosed compared with females. Many researchers in the field suggest females may be incorrectly diagnosed or missed altogether due to gender differences in their ASC symptomology and expression. Parents are fundamental in acknowledging difficulties and overseeing the diagnosis process, which often occurs at a later stage in girls' development compared to boys. This article reviews the current literature on parents' experiences of having a daughter with ASC. A systematic search was conducted which resulted in nine articles being identified as appropriate for the review, based on inclusion and exclusion criteria. Many articles highlighted parents' difficulties in obtaining a diagnosis for their daughter and accessing services. There were inconsistencies in parents' understanding of the girls' social difficulties and how successfully they were able to hide them. Problems in maintaining friendships, vulnerability, self-care issues and how these impacted self-esteem were also common themes. Typically, parents described a process similar to grief involving a degree of adaptation to the parent-daughter relationship following an ASC diagnosis. Limitations in the articles were acknowledged and discussed within the context of currently limited research in this area. A recommendation is made for further exploratory qualitative research which adds to and advances the current research, particularly to assist parents and services in the early identification of females with ASC to inform more timely and appropriate diagnoses and provide more appropriate support.
Supervisor: Gleeson, Kate ; Williams, Emma Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Psych.) Qualification Level: Doctoral