Thesis 1 5

Topics: Autism, Asperger syndrome, Pervasive developmental disorder Pages: 73 (22414 words) Published: April 13, 2015

ABSTRACT
RAISING AN AUTISTIC CHILD: A MOTHER’S EXPERIENCES
By
Deborah A. Smith
May 2011
The purpose of this project is to share the experiences that the writer has about raising an autistic child. The writer will express her fears, doubts, and other feelings that is related with raising her autistic son. This project will help readers understand the challenges faced with raising a child by being a single mother raising a child with autism, as well as inform readers of the different approaches related to raising a child with autism in the past 20 years. An extensive literature review regarding diagnosis, identification and coping strategies, controversies of autism, education and causes as well as history of diagnosing autism was done to help readers understand the severity of autism and difficulties that parents face by raising their autistic child.

RAISING AN AUTISTIC CHILD: A MOTHERS EXPERIENCES

A THESIS
Presented to the School of Social Work
California State University, Long Beach

In Partial Fulfillment
of the Requirement for the Degree
Master of Social Work

Committee Members
Philip Tan, Ph.D. (Chair)
Brian Lam, Ph.D.
Janaki Santhiveeran, Ph.D.
College Designee:
Rebecca A. Lopez Ph.D.

By Deborah A. Smith
B. A. 2003, California State University, Dominguez Hills
May 2011

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
Writing this narrative forced me to do some soul searching. It has been a way for me to understand my strengths and weaknesses. Writing this narrative also showed me that I am never alone in my journey of raising my son. I realized that I was not the only one raising my son. It is said that it takes a village to raise a child and in my case that is true. I would like to thank my mother (deceased) because she was my rock and she taught me that I should never give up on my children. She was a great role model and she showed me what it means to not only be a mother with unconditional love for my child, but also an advocate for my child. My mother was always there for me and when she died I felt that I lost my strongest support system. I love my mother so much and I will eternally miss her. To my sisters, Sunday (deceased), Teresa, Donna, Danielle and Felicia. Thank you for always being so understanding and patient with me and Eric. I love you so much and I want to thank them for loving us and being there for me and Eric. I do not know what I would have done without all of your love and support. I want to thank all my friends. My friends have been there for me and my son through all my emotions. They laughed with me as well as cried with me. They were there to celebrate with me and they were also there for me when I just needed to talk. They have been a very strong support system and I will always love them for that. To all my co-workers and supervisors at Maryvale and El Camino Compton Center, thank you for all the love and encouragement you have given me to help me throughout the years. You all have allowed me vent when I was upset about a class or a grade, you listened to my stories, and laughed at my jokes. You have been encouraging when I needed it and you gave me advice when it was necessary. Finally I want to thank my advisor and committee as well as my field supervisor for being there to guide me through the toughest times in my educational career (internship and thesis), I would not have made it without you.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS……………………………………………………………………..iii CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION……………………………………………………………………….........1

Identification and Intervention…………………………………………………………….2 Coping with Diagnosis…………………………………………………………………….3 Purpose Statement…………………………………………………………………………4 Problem Statement………………………………………………………………………...4 Social Work Relevance…………………………………………………………………....5 Definitions of Terms……………………………………………………………………....6...

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