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ERIC Number: EJ1284361
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2021-Mar
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1354-4187
Fathers' Experiences as Carers for Autistic Children with Learning Disabilities
Cameron, Harriet; Cooper, Louise
British Journal of Learning Disabilities, v49 n1 p13-22 Mar 2021
Background: This small study explores the lived experience of four UK-based fathers (one black British, one white Polish and two white British) caring for at least one child with a dual diagnosis of learning disability and autism. The key aim was to get as close as possible to understanding the experience of these fathers in their role as carers. Methods: The study makes use of interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) as an approach to gathering (via interview) and making sense of the fathers' experiences. Findings and discussion: We co-constructed three themes following analysis of the interview transcripts: "fatherhood: not doing enough, not doing it right"; "crossing worlds: relearning how to communicate and reclaiming fatherhood"; and "uncertain futures." We found that, for these fathers, the experiences of anxiety and helplessness were balanced with the appreciation of their value as protectors, their shifting sense of identity and of their closeness with their children. Relationships were central throughout. Conclusions: The exploration of fathers' experiences helps to highlight the less-measurable, nuanced aspects of the joys and challenges of caring for children with dual diagnoses of learning disability and autism which might be used to enhance the support provided and to inform new approaches.
Wiley. Available from: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 111 River Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030. Tel: 800-835-6770; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom