Initial Psychological Experiences of Parents toward Recent Disclosure of Diagnosis for Children with Special Needs

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Permpoon Sanichwannakul
Nattasuda Taephant
Kullaya Pisitsungkagarn


This study aimed to examine the psychological experiences of parents toward recent disclosure
of the diagnosis of their children with special needs. Key informants were 7 parents whose children were
diagnosed with special needs by child and adolescent psychiatrists and pediatricians specialized in child
development and behavior which involves Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Down Syndrome, and Cri-du-chat
syndrome. Data was collected via in-depth interviewing, and then analyzed using phenomenological analysis
method. Findings revealed three main themes: (1) Factors related to disclosure of the diagnosis and medical treatment, including child rearing problems, an observation and perception of children's abnormality, and
readiness for help seeking, (2) Disclosure of the diagnosis, including information received from health professionals, rejection of the diagnosis results, and acceptance of the diagnosis results and readiness for child rearing, and (3) Adjustment and overcoming myriad obstacle process, including difficulties in parenting
children with special needs, receiving support from family members, receiving support from health professionals, inspirations from other parents of children with special needs, and commitment to child rearing. Understanding psychological experiences of the parents will make related individuals and institutes better provide appropriate support to a family whose child has special needs.


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