Abstract

Families play a critical role in supporting their children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and in advocating for their health and educational needs. However, many families around the world experience social, emotional, and financial difficulties, as well as challenges navigating various systems in search for the services and supports their children require. Colombia has made some recent strides in supporting the needs of families of children with ASD, but there is still concern among families that their children are not receiving adequate services. Thus, we were interested in learning more about what it was like to parent a child with ASD in Colombia. In particular, we focused on investigating the families' perceptions, experiences, and aspirations for their child with ASD by conducting focus group interviews. Four primary themes emerged from these interviews with Colombian parents, which included the impact of the disability diagnosis on the family, the systemic and societal challenges they faced, the strengths they saw in their child, and their future aspirations and expectations for their child. Implications for developing culturally responsive parent education programs are discussed.

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