de_Deuge_whole_thesis.pdf (1.55 MB)
Exploratory study of factors that influence parental adaptation during the autism spectrum disorder diagnostic process
thesisposted on 2023-05-27, 10:06 authored by de Deuge, JK
Due to the complexity of diagnosing Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) a multidisciplinary diagnostic approach represents best practice quality care. This process can however be time consuming, with parents often facing long waiting periods which may complicate adaptation. The current research investigated the experiences of mothers who have had their child diagnosed through the multidisciplinary team at St Giles, Tasmania. Four mothers partook in semi-structured interviews, to describe their experience of the ASD diagnostic process. A qualitative approach was adopted and data analysed using thematic analysis. This investigation identified the issues that parents face throughout the three stages of the diagnostic process; pre-diagnosis, diagnosis and post diagnosis and the organisational factors that may positively influence how parents adapt to these issues. The results were fitted into a model showing that factors within the St Giles diagnostic process may interact to facilitate positive adaptation by influencing parent's social support and their perceptions of the situation or Sense of Coherence (SOC). This report provides a valuable insight into parental experiences of the diagnostic process and receiving a diagnosis of ASD. It also highlights the complexity of this process and, implications for further research and practice.
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