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

Article


Lamba, N., Van Tonder, A., Shrivastava, A. and Raghavan, A. 2022. Exploring challenges and support structures of mothers with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the United Arab Emirates. Research in Developmental Disabilities. 120. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2021.104138
TypeArticle
TitleExploring challenges and support structures of mothers with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in the United Arab Emirates
AuthorsLamba, N., Van Tonder, A., Shrivastava, A. and Raghavan, A.
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.]

KeywordsSupport Groups; Diagnosis; Middle East; Developmental disabilities; Pandemic
LanguageEnglish
PublisherElsevier
JournalResearch in Developmental Disabilities
ISSN0891-4222
Publication dates
Online01 Dec 2021
Print01 Jan 2022
Publication process dates
Deposited07 Jan 2022
Accepted22 Nov 2021
Output statusPublished
Accepted author manuscript
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Copyright Statement

© 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/

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2021.104138
Web of Science identifierWOS:000791075800005
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