University of Hertfordshire

By the same authors

Mother's experiences of the transition of young people with autism spectrum disorder to adult care

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-138
Number of pages10
JournalResearch and Practice in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Early online date20 Mar 2018
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2019


Purpose: Research has shown that the transition planning of young people with autism spectrum disorders from child to adult-directed services, to be both problematic and limited in function. Mothers of children with autism spectrum disorders have been shown to be at an increased risk from maternal mental health problems, and often taken on the role of care co-coordinator during the transition period. The current study sought to explore the experiences of transition of mothers’ of young people with autism spectrum disorders in the United Kingdom (UK). Method: Interpretative phenomenological analysis was utilized in the analysis of six semi-structured interviews of mothers. Findings: Three superordinate themes were identified: Negative experiences, Resources to cope, facilitating self-preparation. All mothers had an adverse emotional response to transitioning their children from youth to adult services and all indicated a struggle with regards to their control over the process. In order to manage their negative feelings, some mothers adopted an activist attitude. Almost all mothers acknowledged the importance of support from other parents who had a child with an autism spectrum disorder. Practical implications: This study highlights the perceived lack of support and service provision for families with children with disabilities approaching adulthood. Originality/Value: This is the first study to identify the important role parent support groups may have in cultivating resilience during the transition from child to adult services.


© 2018 Australasian Society for Intellectual Disability. This is an accepted manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Research and Practice in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities on 20 Mar 2018, available online:

ID: 12889066