Special Education ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-9-2023


This qualitative multiple-case study explored the lived experiences and perspectives of parents of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in Lima, Peru, regarding access to services for their children, the services their children received, and the level of parental involvement. The purpose of this study was to describe the needs of children with ASD and their parents and to seek to inform the development of policies and services to improve the lives of children with ASD and their parents in Lima, Peru. The ecological systems theory and the empowerment theory were the guiding conceptual frameworks for this study. Criterion sampling strategy was employed to select participants. Nine mothers had one child diagnosed with ASD and one mother had two children diagnosed with ASD. This study was conducted virtually via Zoom, a video conferencing platform, in the forms of diaries, interviews, and photovoice discussions to generate rich, detailed descriptions of the phenomenon. The data were initially analyzed case by case (within-case) and later across cases (cross-case). Four major themes emerged from the data analysis: service access challenges, service experiences, parent expectations, and parent participation. Results indicated that regardless of the mothers’ socioeconomic status, they found it difficult to access services for their child with ASD.


autism spectrum disorder, ASD, developing countries, low-income countries

Document Type




Degree Name

Special Education

Level of Degree


Department Name

Special Education

First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr. Cathy Huanqing Qi

Second Committee Member

Professor Ruth Luckasson

Third Committee Member

Dr. Sunaina Shenoy

Fourth Committee Member

Dr. Terri Flowerday

Available for download on Thursday, May 15, 2025