Exploring challenges and support structures of mothers with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the United Arab Emirates

Lamba, Nishtha ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2595-5076, Van Tonder, Angelique, Shrivastava, Anita and Raghavan, Archana (2022) Exploring challenges and support structures of mothers with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the United Arab Emirates. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 120 , 104138. ISSN 0891-4222 [Article] (doi:10.1016/j.ridd.2021.104138)

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Abstract

Mothers with children with ASD, often being primary caregivers, experience high levels of parenting stress and hold essential information about their children's wellbeing. There is however lack of information about their experiences in the UAE. The study aims to explore challenges and support structures of mothers with children with ASD in the UAE. 17 expat mothers (Age = 33-58 years) with a child with ASD were interviewed about their experiences with diagnoses, therapeutic interventions, support networks, and the pandemic. Thematic analysis showed that initially most mothers struggled with accessing information to seek correct diagnoses, admission in mainstream international schools with typically developing children, and finding appropriate therapeutic services. Several mothers narrated experiences of not receiving optimum support from their partners, feeling rejected from extended family members, and facing hardships during the pandemic. Majority however appeared to be extremely satisfied with support groups where they felt heard and exchanged experience-based information crucial for children's wellbeing. Findings highlight the need for the government to facilitate centralized channels of information for expat parents with children with developmental disabilities, formalizing more support groups for mothers in the UAE, and increasing knowledge about autism to decrease biases. [Abstract copyright: Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.]

Item Type: Article
Keywords (uncontrolled): Support Groups, Diagnosis, Middle East, Developmental disabilities, Pandemic
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
Item ID: 34300
Notes on copyright: © 2021. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
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Depositing User: Jisc Publications Router
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2022 10:32
Last Modified: 01 Dec 2022 04:04
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/34300

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