Aging in place in every community: Social exclusion experiences of parents of adult children with autism spectrum disorder

Document Type


Publication Date



Social Work

Publication Title

Research on Aging


This article offers an examination of aging processes of lifelong caregivers and the possibilities for social exclusion place experienced by parents of adult children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study of parental caregivers (n = 51) sheds light on how enduring caregiving roles can lead to social exclusion in three ways: misunderstanding of ASD and stigma, the complexity of the caregiving roles, and impact on daily routines including challenges with long-term planning for both the adult children and the parental caregivers. Implications for practice to address social exclusion include education and building greater communication ties among family member for family members and advocacy for more and higher quality services including respite care. This article concludes with discussion of the impact of this aging, yet caregiving population and the need for knowledge about aging processes and anticipating aging for these caregivers.

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