Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 49, Issue 4, pp 1330–1341 | Cite as

Personal Growth Experiences of Parents to Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Einat Waizbard-Bartov
  • Maya Yehonatan-Schori
  • Ofer GolanEmail author
Original Paper


Experiences of parenting a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have mostly been studied in relation to hardship. The current study explored personal growth experiences of Israeli parents to children with ASD, specifically in relation to Tedeschi and Calhoun’s crisis-related growth model. Nineteen parents were interviewed, and qualitative categorical content analysis was performed. Four major growth themes emerged: Empowerment and personal strength, Existential perspective/spiritual-emotional experience, Interpersonal and Expertise, professional or political involvement. Themes were largely consistent with the crisis-related growth model, with some being unique to the current subject of inquiry. Findings indicated growth might occur differently in different cultures. Clinically, with some parents, the focus regarding the parenting of their child with ASD should be shifted from adjustment to growth.


Parenting Crisis related growth Autism spectrum disorder Qualitative research Cultural differences 



We are grateful to our participants for openly sharing their personal experiences, and to Prof. Rivka Tuval-Mashiach and Dr. Yael Golan for their methodological advice.

Author Contributions

MYS and OG designed the study, MYS collected the data and analyzed it with OG. EWB and OG wrote the final manuscript. All authors commented on the manuscript and approved it.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Authors EWB, MYS, and OG declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

The study was approved by the ethics committee of the department of psychology, Bar-Ilan University. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyBar-Ilan UniversityRamat-GanIsrael
  2. 2.Department of Psychology and The Mind InstituteUniversity of California, DavisDavisUSA

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