Elements of emotional stress in parents of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Perry, Judith McKay
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This study investigates the extent to which parenting a child diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder generates emotional stress in parents. Rates of diagnosis of children with autism have increased markedly in recent years and parents raising them incur multiple social, emotional, and economic stressors. Parents experience uncertainty, fear, and feeling overwhelmed with the responsibility of coordinating and accessing resources, treatments, and interventions. The quality of personal, marriage, and family life can be impacted as well. The purpose of this study was to gain insight into the perceptions and potential stress of parents of children with autism spectrum disorders. Discussion of results highlight implications for clinical and service providers. An intervention model is also proposed to assist clinical and service providers in helping parents of children with autism reduce emotional stress.
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