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The financial and psychological cost of raising a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder: a qualitative study.

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This is a qualitative research project looking at the financial and psychological challenges and needs of parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Raising a child with ASD can be a very challenging and strenuous experience. Families who are raising children with ASD appear to experience an overwhelming amount of stress and consist of many responsibilities whilst not having much support from others, signifying the need to study this phenomenon further. The study involves a sample of biological mothers living in Gauteng who are the primary caregivers of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This study focuses on parents’ lived experiences and their perspectives of the psychological and financial costs of raising a child with this neurodevelopmental condition. The findings of this study correspond with findings from other literature; highlighting the significance of these challenges. Results indicated that parents living with an ASD child experience various psychological challenges such as feelings of grief and fear, physical and emotional exhaustion, disruption to the family’s lifestyle, and tremendous financial strain; influencing their well-being. This study aims to highlight the financial and psychological needs of parents interviewed in this study to create insight and awareness to others living with Autism Spectrum Disorder as well as professionals working with these families.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.