Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often require additional support, compared to their neurotypical peers. Caregivers of individuals with ASD frequently report mental health impacts including high stress, as well as the need for familial support. While literature exists around grandparents raising children with ASD, the researcher was unable to identify studies regarding the complex care relationship between mothers and maternal grandmothers as co-caregivers for an elementary-aged child with ASD. Therefore, the researcher conducted a phenomenological study to contribute to the literature on the experiences of mothers and maternal grandmothers as co-caregivers for an elementary-aged child with ASD. The researcher recruited eight mother and maternal grandmother dyads (n=16) and conducted a series of semi-structured interviews with the participants. The first interview with the mother, the second interview with the maternal grandmother, and the final interview with the mother and maternal grandmother, together. The overall phenomenon of co-caregiving originated from themes from interviews with mothers, maternal grandmothers, dyads, and photo-elicitation methods. The overall phenomenon of the lived experiences of mothers and MGMs emerged as a dynamic yet supportive relationship of mutual respect in their roles as co-caregivers of an elementary-aged child with ASD. Implications for practice and recommendations are provided, based upon the research of these eight dyads, for consideration of further supports for other mothers and maternal grandmothers of children with ASD.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Community Innovation and Education
School of Teacher Education
Education; Exceptional Education
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Pierce, Chelsea, "Examining the Lived Experiences of Mothers' and Maternal Grandmothers' Co-Caregiving for an Elementary-Aged Child with ASD: A Phenomenological Study" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1272.