Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a group of neurodevelopmental disorders, which manifests early in childhood and lasts throughout the lifespan.

The main characteristics of autism (ASD) according to the latest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-5 (DSM-5) are: 

  • impairments in social interaction and communication,

  • repetitive and restricted behaviors, interests or activities

Autism (ASD) has come to be called 'spectrum', because of the wide variety of symptoms shared by all individuals in a range of phenotypes. While, it is clear that each child displays the social, communication, and repetitive behaviors in quite different ways, the question remains as to "how parents understand autism in relation to the individual strengths of their children?"


Autism (ASD) is not a single disorder. It is broadly considered to be resulted by a combination of factors and their interaction.


The fact remains that a child with autism presents with a range of symptoms that impact the quality of their life and the functioning of the family unit. Parents of children with autism experience multiple challenges and stresses in their journey to autism.


Our aim is to explore how parents understand their child's strengths, abilities and unique characteristics and to inform decisions for highly individualized intervention strategies to improve child's, parents', and family's overall quality of life.

©2020 Parental Understanding of Autism and the Individual Characteristics of Children with Autism.

Find us: 

Psychology, Human Sciences Research Centre,

College of Life and Natural Sciences,

University of Derby, Kedleston Road, DE22 1GB, UK