The Experiences of Ageing Parents of Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)
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Global improvements in health care have resulted in improved longevity for the general population, including persons with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Increasingly, many parents are living with and providing care for their young adults with ASD. Little, however, is known about the experiences of ageing parents of young adults with ASD, particularly in developing countries like Ghana. This study explored the unique experiences of nine ageing parents and their young adults with ASD using semi-structured interviews. Data were analysed using the thematic analysis approach. Findings from the analysis of their responses revealed five themes: psychological exhaustion, future uncertainties, planning for the future, isolation and stigmatization and social support. Findings of this study serve to extend the developmental perspective of caring for caregivers and adult persons with ASD, with implications for designing interventions for such population in developing regions.
KeywordsAgeing parents Young adults ASD Qualitative research Lived experiences Ghana
We are sincerely grateful to the Teachers of New Horizon Special School, and families who participated in this study.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
The authors received ethical clearance (IRB 00001276) from the Noguchi Memorial Institute at the University of Ghana, Lego, Accra.
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