Narratives of Mothering a Child With Autism Spectrum Disorder in Ukraine
1Jagiellonian University, Institute of Psychology, Krakow
Background: The aim of the study was to explore the experiences of Ukrainian mothers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The lack of formal education regarding ASD and of specialised therapy and education services in Ukraine may negatively impact the way mothers adjust to caring for a child with ASD. Methods: In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with 25 mothers of children with ASD. The recorded data was transcribed and processed using thematic analysis with elements of narrative methodology approach. Codes, themes and categories were developed during the iteretive analysis and then metanarratives were constructed. Findings: Three general ways of experiencing and adjusting to caring for a child with ASD were identified: (1) child’s advocacy and personal transgression; (2) life reorganization and working; and (3) spiritual re-evaluation and normalizing the family life. These categories will be illustrated by the most representative narratives of the mothers. Discussion: Despite the lack of formal support, Ukraininan mothers show positive ways of adaptation to rearing a child with ASD in the challenging socio-economic conditions of the developing country.