This dissertation documents the process that I went through, as both a mother and as an educator, in coming to terms with my son’s diagnosis of autism. I examine and discuss the discovery of his diagnosis of autism, as well as the educational implications of raising such a child. Using autoethnography as my primary research methodology, I discuss our lives leading up to my son’s diagnosis of autism, the diagnostic process, the actual diagnosis, including the information from the various reports that were drawn up regarding him and his diagnosis, and connect it to the body of research that has been done about autism. Using the stance of an Appreciative Inquiry, I discuss the personal, social and educational ramifications of the diagnosis. This thesis speaks to the importance of early diagnosis, the implications for early childhood education (due to the unique challenges of educating children with autism), and helps to provide guidelines to assist other parents/caregivers as they engage with their children who are gifted with this extraordinary challenge. NOTE: All names are pseudonyms and have been changed to assure their anonymity, with the exception the names of me, my husband, our daughter and our son.
Copyright is held by the author.
The author granted permission for the file to be printed and for the text to be copied and pasted.
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: Mamchur, Carolyn
Member of collection