Date of Submission


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)



Department Chair

Robert A. DiTomasso, Ph.D., ABPP

First Advisor

Rosemary Mennuti, Ed.D., Chairperson

Second Advisor

Yuma I. Tomes, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Emily Chernicoff, Psy.D


This qualitative study focuses on the awareness and perceptions of autism among Indian mothers residing in the United States. Through a semi-structure interview, the author examined the responses of Indian mothers regarding what life would be like for an Indian mother who has a child with autism. The results indicated that there continues to be a lack of awareness regarding autism because of the high levels of stigma associated with any form of mental illness. Mothers felt that the lives of an Indian mother and her child who has autism would be difficult because of complex cultural expectations and traditions. In addition, the lack of awareness and acceptance ultimately results in the child not gaining the appropriate access to crucial early interventions and to social interactions that are needed in order to achieve his or her maximum potential in life.