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The Experiences of Fathers Who Have Offspring with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
Research exploring parents’ experiences of having offspring with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) currently under-represents 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 personalized support was emphasized. Enabling fathers to see their experiences as a journey, whilst engaging them on the important topics of independence and integration, may improve their experience. (Author abstract)

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