Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Program

Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Supervisor

Dr. Angie Mandich

Abstract

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is defined as a group of pervasive developmental disorders that cause clinically significant impairments in social, occupational and overall functioning. The current body of research highlights the importance of community based interventions, programs and services for this population across their lifespan. This dissertation explores parental experiences with interventions, programs and services for their children and adolescents with ASD.

This dissertation contains three manuscripts in addition to the introductory and concluding chapters. The first manuscript explores the current literature on occupational therapy based interventions for school aged children with ASD. Manuscript two presents the findings of an interpretive narrative exploration regarding parental perspectives on interventions for their children with ASD. This manuscript is analyzed using a Critical Social Theory (CST) lens and explores the themes as shared within the stories of the participants. The third manuscript explores current service delivery models for adolescents with ASD throughout their transition to adulthood. A CST lens has been used to critique the structures, environments and institutions in which adolescents and young adults with ASD operate throughout their transition to adulthood.

This thesis contributes new knowledge to the growing body of information regarding parental perspectives on interventions for their children with ASD. It presents both confirmatory findings surrounding the importance of interventions for children and adolescents with ASD and identifies current service gaps for this population. It has provided insight into parental perspectives on interventions, programs and services for their children and has added their stories to the current literature. Additionally, the use of a CST lens provides an opportunity to explore current social structures that impact service delivery for this population.


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