Biographical disruption or cohesion?: How parents deal with their child's autism diagnosis
Associate Professor Inge Kryger Pedersen recently contributed to the journal 'Social Science and Medicine' with the publication: 'Biographical disruption or cohesion? : How parents deal with their child's autism diagnosis'
The publication is in collaboration with the researchers Pernille Skovbo Rasmussen, VIVE The Danish Centre for Social Science Research, and Anne Katrine Pangsberg, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Centre, Mental Health Services, Capital Region of Denmark.
Drawing upon a qualitative study among Danish parents of 20 children recently diagnosed with autism, this paper contributes with situated insights into parents' experiences. The researchers identify a spectrum of feelings towards the autism diagnosis, including both relief and grief. In the absence of theoretical notions drawing attention to how a child's diagnosis influences parents' self-conceptions and understandings of their child, the researchers develop the concept of ‘parent-biographical disruption’: the parents' rethinking of themselves and their child that might be caused by a chronic condition such as autism.
Through the notion of a parental-biographical spectrum of disruption and cohesion, the researchers emphasize the diversity in how parents deal with a child's autism diagnosis and the variety of needs for rethinking parental biographies in the wake of a diagnosis.