1 Introduction</h5> Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by difficulties in social interaction and communication as well as the presence of restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities ( American Psychiatric Association, 2013 ). These difficulties do not only affect the diagnosed people throughout their life, but also their parents who play salient and influential roles in child development ( Karst & Van Hecke, 2012 ). Parenting an infant constitutes the initial and all-encompassing ecology of infant development ( Bornstein, 2002 ) and it is a process which constitutes a key foundational component in the child's life. In addition, the birth of any child with special needs presents significant difficulties to the parents. Taking into account the characteristics of ASD, rearing a child with those developmental difficulties is an important and unique challenge for both mothers and fathers.</P>In the last decade many studies have tended to focus on how parents are affected by the challenges of raising a child with ASD, particularly in terms of their stress ( Baker-Ericzn, Brookman-Frazee, & Stahmer, 2005; Davis & Carter, 2008; Eisenhower, Baker, & Blacher, 2005 ; Hastings, 2003; Hoffman, Sweeney, Hodge, Lopez-Wagner, & Looney, 2009; Moes,
Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders – Elsevier
Published: Oct 1, 2014
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