“Everyone Wants To Have a Perfect Child”: Being Mother of Children with Autism

Abstract This article aims to understand the aspects of the experience of mothers of children with autism, based on interviews and existing studies, situating the theoretical debate around this process. This is a qualitative research, carried out through semi-structured interviews with six mothers of children with autism. Data analysis was conducted using the content analysis method, resulting in three themes - impact of diagnosis, social support, and being a woman and mother of a child with autism. The results corroborate the literature on the impact of autism on the daily lives of these women, the burden they face and the importance of the social support network. The findings of this study emphasize the importance of diagnosis as a guideline for these mothers’actions and the professionals’ resistance to provide it, as well as the father who has difficulty accepting the child’s condition, and restoring the mother’s feminine identity.