New Paper from CBDMH: Adults with Autism in India – A Mixed Method Approach to Make Meaning of Daily Routines

We’re excited to announce publication of a new paper from CBDMH (Culture & Disability Research)  in Social Science & Medicine covering two very important and understudied topics using a mixed-method approach: the daily lives of adults living with autism and persons living with psychiatric disorders outside the US.


Adults with Autism in India: A Mixed-Method Approach to Make Meaning of Daily Routines
Tamara C. DaleyThomas Weisner, and Nidhi Singhal

Published Online: 1 July 2014


Although individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have been diagnosed in India for over fifty years, virtually nothing is known about the social circumstances of adults, their daily lives, and their families. Where are adults with autism? How do they spend their time? Who are they with, and what are they doing all day? A mixed-method approach was used to obtain information on daily routines of 54 adults with ASD living in New Delhi, India, and about parent levels of stress associated with these routines during a study collected from January through June, 2013. Whether or not they attended a structured setting during the day (59% did so), adults engaged in some 20 activities both inside and outside their home. Contrary to our expectations, most adults were not “hidden” and were out in public at least on occasion. Higher functioning adults were more likely to attend a structured setting, but parents described challenging behaviors, both adult and parent preference, and lack of options as reasons that adults stayed home. The amount of time adults spent outside their home was not associated with parent reported stress, but stress was significantly higher for mothers who were employed. Most families described adaptation to caring for their adult children. A partnership with an Indian nongovernmental organization provided mechanisms to amplify our research findings, making them meaningful to our participants and others.