Kathleen A. Ryan, PsyD, is a 2012 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University New England.

Dissertation Committee

  • Kathi Borden, PhD (Committee Chair)
  • William Slammon, PhD (Committee Member)
  • Cassie Yackley, PsyD (Committee Member)


Raising Children, Autism Spectrum, Parental Needs

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The rates of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnoses have increased rapidly in the past few years. This increase is affecting many American families but the current research literature fails to evaluate the needs of parents who are raising children on the spectrum. Parents of children with Autism experience grief, denial, anger, guilt, depression, isolation, stress, financial difficulties, and marital struggles. The author proposed a mixed methods study to determine services received and satisfaction with those services; level of parental interest in specialized services; how well parents’ needs had been met with existing services; and what services parents of autistic children find they need the most. To answer these questions, parents of children on the autism spectrum were asked to complete a questionnaire about their interests, needs and the usefulness of existing services.