Title: Storytelling in a Facebook Support Group: Support Solicitation and Support Provision Among Parents of a Child With Autism
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
Hema Rosheny Mustafa, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia
Rika Diana Busri, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia
Shalini Srika Bala, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Malaysia
Online support group using Facebook as a platform has been used widely by various communities including breastfeeding mums, caregivers, and patients. A Facebook support group for parents of a child with autism in Malaysia was set up more than 10 years ago with the objective of sharing personal experiences. Initiated by a group of parents, it has now generated 10,900 members that not only involved parents, but caregivers, health practitioners, special education teachers and therapists. This study looks into how these parents use storytelling in seeking and providing support. This qualitative study involved 10 parents, who become members for more than five years, and were recruited on voluntary basis, through the announcement posted by the researcher in the group. The posts uploaded to the group by the participants are analysed using thematic analysis, and it is found that their emotional and informational support are improved. The sense of belonging that they hold encourages them to share stories regardless of how disappointing they were. Most posts shared are accompanied by photo(s) of their child with autism. The researcher believes that this Facebook group is used as an avenue for these parents to share stories as they could not do so on their personal Facebook account due to the stigma they received from friends who do not have children with autism. This online support group has helped many parents of a child with autism in Malaysia and its practical implications are discussed.
Conference Comments & FeedbackPlace a comment using your LinkedIn profile
Share this Presentation