Online Social Support Experiences of Mothers of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Jennifer S. Reinke, Catherine A. Solheim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

This exploratory study examines how mothers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) make sense of their experiences of looking for and subsequently finding (or not finding) online emotional and informational support. Using interpretative phenomenological analysis, we analyzed semi-structured interviews with 14 mothers of children with ASD. The analysis yielded two main themes, (a) seeking is an ongoing part of my life, and (b) I need to be connected and to be understood. Our findings suggest that the Internet and associated online activities serve as important sources of both emotional and informational support. These findings can be used to inform future research in addition to suggesting ways for clinicians and healthcare professionals to improve online support services and resources for parents of children with ASD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2364-2373
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Volume24
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 23 2015

Keywords

  • Autism
  • Mothers
  • Online
  • Phenomenology
  • Social support

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