When the mask comes off: Mothers’ experiences of parenting a daughter with autism spectrum condition

James Anderson, Charles Marley, Karri Gillespie-Smith, Leonie Carter, Ken McMahon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

There is limited knowledge and research on the experiences of having a daughter with autism spectrum condition from a mother’s perspective. This study aims to explore the experiences of mothers who care for a daughter with autism spectrum condition, with a particular focus on female autism spectrum condition presentation. Ten mothers of daughters with autism spectrum condition took part in a semi-structured interview. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to analyse the data. Five superordinate themes emerged: ‘Girls have autism too’, ‘She’s a chameleon’, ‘The impact of the diagnosis’, ‘Impact on mums’ and ‘Day-to-day life’. These findings add to our knowledge of how female autism spectrum condition presents and of the experiences directly related to being the mother of a daughter with autism spectrum condition. The findings have implications for clinicians that carry out autism spectrum condition assessments and provide insights into areas where additional support can be provided to mothers and daughters.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAutism
Early online date27 Apr 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Apr 2020

Keywords

  • autism spectrum condition
  • daughters
  • girls
  • interpretative phenomenological analysis
  • masking
  • mothers
  • parenting

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