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, 47 (4), 1135-1147

The Experiences of Fathers Who Have Offspring With Autism Spectrum Disorder


The Experiences of Fathers Who Have Offspring With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Alexander Burrell et al. J Autism Dev Disord.


Research exploring parents' experiences of having offspring with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) currently underrepresents fathers. This study aimed to develop an understanding of the experience of fathers, with a view to facilitating improved support. Eight fathers participated in semi-structured interviews exploring their experiences of fathering children with ASD. Fathers described their experiences as a path towards acceptance, with independence and integration for their offspring being key goals. Fathers saw themselves as advocates fighting obstructive services to access appropriate care. The value placed on formal and informal support varied, although the need for personalised support was emphasised. Enabling fathers to see their experiences as a journey, whilst engaging them on the important topics of independence and integration, may improve their experience.

Keywords: Acceptance; Autism spectrum disorder; Experiences; Fathers; Qualitative.

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Standards

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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