An exploration of the lived experiences of women with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Title: An exploration of the lived experiences of women with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder
Authors: Condon, Louise
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Date: 2021
Online since: 2022-05-05T15:27:34Z
Abstract: Literature exploring autism in female populations is characterised by its predominant quantitative methodology and child participant focus. First-hand accounts of those whose lives are most impacted by ASD are limited to a number of small scale qualitative studies leaving much unknown as to how autistic women in particular experience their lives. Findings from these studies in conjunction with autistic life writings produced by women on the Autism Spectrum have begun to expand and deepen the narratives surrounding autism. A comprehensive general literature review followed by a state-of -the-art literature review of first person adult female perspectives aims to contextualise the lived experiences of women with ASD. A qualitative methodology was adopted using a constructionist Reflexive Thematic Analysis method and aims to add to the currently limited body of knowledge about female autism as a subjective and socially contextualised experience. Using on-line recruitment, semi-structured interviews with sixteen women who had a diagnosis of ASD were conducted. Two major themes, ‘male-centric view of autism’ and ‘gender-based role expectations’ were developed from discussion of women’s experiences. Combined, these themes served to contextualise the impact of intersecting cultural ideologies on women’s sense of self and psychological wellbeing. Findings are discussed in relation to dominant theoretical conceptualisations of autism, adult psychosocial outcomes and the emerging construction of autism in women in the guise of ‘the female phenotype’. Clinical implications of findings in terms of service provision, assessment and diagnosis are outlined alongside recommendations for further research and the limitations of the study.
Type of material: Master Thesis
Publisher: University College Dublin. School of Education
Qualification Name: D.Ed.Psych.
Copyright (published version): 2021 the Author
Keywords: AutismFemale autismExperienceGender
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
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Appears in Collections:Education Theses

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