Caregiver perspectives on the impact of uncertainty on the everyday lives of autistic children and their families.

Publication date: Jul 22, 2021

Anxiety is common in autistic children. Research shows that this may be related to intolerance of uncertainty, which is a tendency to react negatively to uncertain situations. Understanding when, why and how autistic children respond to uncertainty is important in the development of anxiety programmes. We asked 53 (including 3 dyads) parents of autistic children about the types of uncertain situations that cause difficulties for their child and how uncertainty impacts on daily life for them and their families. We found that uncertain situations made autistic children and their families feel sad, worried, frustrated and angry through the themes: child’s reactions to uncertainty, trying to reduce uncertainty, the impact of difficulties with uncertainty, the impact of uncertainty on parenting and the impact on parents. There are lots of situations that are anxiety provoking for autistic children because of uncertainty, such as school. Programmes to reduce anxiety and increase autistic children’s ability to cope with everyday uncertain situations could improve quality of life for autistic children and their families.

Concepts Keywords
Autism Autism
Daily Anxiety
Intolerance Neuroscience
Parents Psychiatry
Therapy Psychiatric diagnosis
Branches of biology
Autism rights movement


Type Source Name
disease MESH uncertainty
disease MESH Anxiety
disease MESH development
disease MESH Autism Spectrum Disorder

Original Article

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