Autism is a developmental disorder that causes severed impairment in social interaction and communication. When a child is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), the diagnosis can impact both parents’ experience, in the short-term as well as the long-term. This study looks specifically at the experience of fathers because they have been largely overlooked in the research, and because fatherhood is a common phenomenon experienced by many males and the rate of ASD diagnoses is increasing. I interviewed twelve fathers from the East Bay and South Bay Areas of Northern California who all have a child with ASD. Interview data was collected and coded to produce a phenomenological analysis on the experience of fatherhood in this situation. Common lived experiences were identified for each of five domains, as follows: (1) How Has Having a Child Impacted My Experience of Fatherhood (common lived experience: How My Role Did or Did Not Change as a Man); (2) Concerns Before My Child Was Diagnosed With ASD (common lived experiences: (a) My Child’s Diagnosis of ASD and My Experience of Intuition, (b) My Child’s Diagnosis of ASD and Experience of Guilt); (3) How I Make Meaning of Fatherhood as I Take Care of Child With ASD (common lived experiences: (a) Affects My Expectations for My Child, (b) Affects My Child’s and My Future); (4) How My Relationship Changed With My Child With ASD (common lived experiences: (a) To Have Much More Patience, (b) To Allow My Relationship With Child to Grow Stronger Despite the Challenges and Finding Meaning); (5) Effects of Being a Father to My Child With ASD (common lived experiences: (a) Impacts My Marriage, (b) Impacts My Social Relationships). Findings indicated that fatherhood and the meaning it holds for men are greatly impacted when raising a child who has ASD.
|Advisor:||Tong, Benjamin R.|
|Commitee:||Atlis, Mera, Vildavskaia, Lola|
|School:||California Institute of Integral Studies|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-B 77/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Mental health, Clinical psychology, Individual & family studies|
|Keywords:||Autism, Children with asd, Fatherhood, Fathers, Lived experience, Phenomenological study|
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