The Thought Process in Planning for the Adult Lives of Adolescents With Autism Spectrum Disorder
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The current study examined the lived experiences of six participants raising adolescent children with autism spectrum disorder. Using the phenomenological framework, the researcher explored the thought process involved in planning adulthood transitions by parents. To represent the distinct perspectives of study participants, semistructured interviews with open-ended questions were used to apprehend the core of participants’ lived experiences. Data collected from these interviews were coded and analyzed to distinguish significant themes relevant to the research questions. The data analysis yelled the following emerging themes: (a) Considerations for Future Planning; (b) Faith, Culture, and Values; and (c) Parents’ Lived Experiences. With the inclusion of subordinate themes, these three emerging themes serve as a framework for the discussion in the current study and future exploration of related topics. Results from the current study illustrated parents’ considerations of their child’s current functioning, needs, faith, culture and value-based factors, adjustments of expectations, and available services and support. Results suggest parents continued effort to meet the current needs of their children while projecting future needs and outcomes. Furthermore, findings and data collected from the participants may serve as a validating resource for parents in similar situations.
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