The diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) in children has a relevant impact also on their parents. Parental websites offer opportunities to share social support, personal experiences, and health-related information. This study aimed at exploring how parents of ASDs children use specific online forums for ASDs. We selected an online forum of parents of ASDs children and analyzed 2469 messages using the latent thematic analysis. We identified four major themes, that we defined in terms of: The supporting group; the difficulties; the activities; and a perspective know-how. Results showed that parents with ASDs children often experience a need of emotional and practical support to cope with the difficulties with their lives. The online community seems to allow them to share experiences and solve doubts about their parental role, proposing practical advice and sustaining them. Belonging to the same group further acts as a support for parental well-being through peer similarity.

Digital storytellers: Parents facing with children’s autism in an Italian web forum

Adriano Schimmenti
2019

Abstract

The diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) in children has a relevant impact also on their parents. Parental websites offer opportunities to share social support, personal experiences, and health-related information. This study aimed at exploring how parents of ASDs children use specific online forums for ASDs. We selected an online forum of parents of ASDs children and analyzed 2469 messages using the latent thematic analysis. We identified four major themes, that we defined in terms of: The supporting group; the difficulties; the activities; and a perspective know-how. Results showed that parents with ASDs children often experience a need of emotional and practical support to cope with the difficulties with their lives. The online community seems to allow them to share experiences and solve doubts about their parental role, proposing practical advice and sustaining them. Belonging to the same group further acts as a support for parental well-being through peer similarity.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11387/138089
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