Parenting Challenges in Families of Children with a Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Qualitative Research Study in Istanbul

Rfat M., KOÇAK O., Uzun B.

Global Social Welfare, 2023 (Scopus) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s40609-023-00270-1
  • Journal Name: Global Social Welfare
  • Journal Indexes: Scopus
  • Keywords: Autism, Family, Opinions of parents, Social work
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: No


Introduction: This qualitative research study examines problems experienced by families with children who have received a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) living in Turkey. Background: In recent years, Turkey has moved to expand services to children who have received a diagnosis of ASD and their families. However, families still experience hidden issues that are crucial to consider while developing appropriate policies. Method: In this study, we interviewed 10 families whose children attended special education schools in the Bağcılar and Bahçelievler districts of Istanbul. We used semistructured interviews conducted via phone, WhatsApp video chat, and Zoom and a phenomenological approach to gain an in-depth understanding of the caregivers’ experience. Themes were obtained by utilizing descriptive analysis. Results: Parents expressed a variety of concerns including financial burden, intrafamilial conflict, mental health problems, and community-related issues. Conclusions: Moving forward, the emerging social work profession should assist children who have been given a diagnosis of ASD and their parents in accessing mental and behavioral health and community-level resources, especially mothers, as they often bear the most responsibilities in Turkey.