Parenting an adult child with autism spectrum disorder: A qualitative examination of the lived experience

Parenting an adult child with autism spectrum disorder and an intellectual disability (ASD-ID) presents unique challenges, which often leads to parental distress, anxiety, depression, and uncertainty of their child’s future. To date however, there has not been an intimate, authentic account of this parental experience. Moreover, this strength-based approach will provide an important addition to what has traditionally been a deficit-based narrative. Therefore, the purpose of this project is to explore the lived experience of parenting an adult child diagnosed with ASD-ID, with the aim of creating a rich, authentic narrative that outlines positive outcomes, navigation of challenges, and overcoming parental concerns. Through a two-step interview approach, intimate details of this unique parental role will be explored. In doing so, Community Living Essex County will gain knowledge related to the experience of parenting an adult child with ASD-ID, which will inform future supports and services provided by this partner agency.

Faculty Supervisor:

Sean Horton


Nadine Minott


Community Living Essex County




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