“I Would Like for My Child to be Happy with His Life”: Parental Hopes for Their Children with ASD Across the Lifespan

  • Erinn H. FinkeEmail author
  • Jennifer M. D. Kremkow
  • Kathryn D. R. Drager
  • Angelique Murillo
  • Laura Richardson
  • Elizabeth C. Serpentine


The purpose of this project was to understand the hopes of parents with children with ASD. Particularly understudied are the hopes parents have for long-term outcomes for their child. A cross-sectional focus group design was used and six focus groups were completed. These groups included parents of (1) preschool aged children who were recently diagnosed, (2) children in early elementary school, (3) children in later elementary school, (4) children in middle school, (5) children in high school, and (6) children who are adults with ASD. Results indicated 77.4% of the data were devoted to hopes for the children’s independence, happiness, and skill improvement; increased authentic socially significant relationships; and future employment.


Focus groups Parenting Hopes Outcomes 



We would like to thank the parents who participated in our study. We would also like to thank the individuals who contributed significantly to data coding, and data management: Megan Tobin and Lauren Frey.

Author contributions

EF conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination, collected data for two groups, analyzed the data, and drafted the manuscript; JK participated in the coding and interpretation of the data, and reviewed and revised the manuscript with EF; KD participated in the design and coordination of the study, collected data for two groups, and assisted with data analysis; AM assisted with data analysis, drafted portions of the manuscript; LR participated in data collection and initial data analysis processes. ES participated in data collection and initial data analysis processes. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

10803_2019_3882_MOESM1_ESM.docx (17 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 16 KB)
10803_2019_3882_MOESM2_ESM.docx (14 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (DOCX 13 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erinn H. Finke
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jennifer M. D. Kremkow
    • 2
  • Kathryn D. R. Drager
    • 3
  • Angelique Murillo
    • 3
  • Laura Richardson
    • 3
  • Elizabeth C. Serpentine
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Audiology and Speech PathologyUniversity of Tennessee Health Science CenterKnoxvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Communication Sciences and DisordersElmhurst CollegeElmhurstUSA
  3. 3.Department of Communication Sciences and DisordersPenn State UniversityState CollegeUSA
  4. 4.Lower Marion School DistrictArdmoreUSA

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