Elizabeth Fuss, Psy.D., is a 2021 graduate of the Psy.D. Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, New England

Dissertation Committee:

  • Kathi Borden, PhD, Committee Chair
  • Gina Pasquale, PsyD, Committee Member
  • Kate Evarts Rice, PsyD, Committee Member


autism spectrum disorder, parent-child relationship, parents, diagnosis, IPA

Document Type


Publication Date



The current qualitative study addresses parents’ experience when their child receives an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis in early childhood. Specifically, the study explores the parent–child relationship, the participants’ perception of autism, and parents’ overall mood before and after their child was diagnosed with ASD. The study used a semistructured interview to collect data from five mothers recruited from the Rhode Island Consortium of Autism Research and Treatment (RICART). The data were analyzed using interpretive phenomenological analysis, which divided the data into superordinate and emergent themes. The discussion section includes discussion of the data in the context of previous literature, limitations, and clinical implications. Finally, the dissertation concludes with my personal reflections on the study and the conclusion.


Elizabeth Fuss

ORCID Scholar ID# 0000-0002-7182-3376