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ePortfolio of Eli Gemegah

My current research aims to highlight contextual, experiential and psychological factors that influence (determine or threaten) the wellbeing of Black and minority ethnic (BME) caregivers of an ASD child in the UK. This research measures the impact of autism on BME parents to raise awareness and begin dialogue that addresses transnational and global issues, while providing a framework to address government policies and funding for services. I explore contextual and systemic factors such as ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status and length of caregiving experience are vital; such diversity is likely to produce information that can be transferred and generalised to a wider UK population.

I employ a mixed methods approach for a national recruitment of BME parents of ASD children, while capturing their unique voices and experiences. Intersectional links of contextual, experiential and psychological factors will be measured quantitatively to identify the role and impact of factors such as culture, acculturation and stigma (internal and external) and double disadvantage. Semi-structured interviews will opportune parents to voice out their perspective of the role of (indigenous and host) culture on autism, whether their beliefs have changed, their experiences and concerns for a personalised and detailed response.

The findings from this research can commence public and social policy initiatives to deliver practical and culturally appropriate services to understand the global issues surrounding autism and ethnic minority families, guidance for government policies, autism services and professional relations. The study aims to influence foreign and UK policy on public and cultural relations, public health initiatives and autism legislations: we will identify and contact policymakers with an interest in autism, families and global issues and disseminate findings quickly to develop recommendations that deliver tangible and lasting impact in the autism field.

Eli Gemegah