Stigmatization of Children with Autism and Their Parents

UZ S., Kaya K.

TARIH KULTUR VE SANAT ARASTIRMALARI DERGISI-JOURNAL OF HISTORY CULTURE AND ART RESEARCH, vol.7, no.1, pp.663-683, 2018 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier identifier


Some autistic behaviors accompany with autism which is common and on the increase these days. Since these behaviors do not comply with the definition of normality, it causes some children to be labeled and stigmatized as 'different' and /or 'odd' and because of this situation parents are also affected. In the research, it is aimed to detect the stigmatizing of the children with autism and their parents among relatives and in a circle of friends, public spaces and educational field and the formation of stigmatization in these places and the ways how parents deal with this issue. The data of the research which was designed with the quantitative method has been obtained from semi-structured interview technique which was done with the mothers of 12 children with autism. In the research, it is concluded that children with autism and their parents are exposed to stigmatization. Some of the findings of the research are that people do not want children with autism around them, they define and call them with humiliating names, they limit or stop their contact with the parents of the autistic children, they see their parents are responsible for their children's autism and in public spaces the children with autism and their parents are exposed to reactive and abusing words and staring. Furthermore, it is understood that parents with autistic children incline to apply strategies such as concealing the situation of their children, secluding, or keeping in touch with people who comprehend them and do not find them strange or contacting with families who also have children with autism.