2.50
Hdl Handle:
http://hdl.handle.net/10755/211453
Type:
Research Study
Title:
THE EXPERIENCES OF SIBLINGS OF CHIDLREN WITH AUTISM
Abstract:
Purpose: This study explored siblings’ perceptions of their experiences of living with a child with autism (CWA) since little information exists examining the experiences from the siblings’ perspectives. Rationale: The social and behavioral issues of autism are unique and deeply impact families, particularly siblings. However, existing information often conflicts. For example, some studies indicate the CWA exhibits frightening and violent behavior, and siblings experience stress and less intimacy in sibling relationships and can be negatively affected socially and emotionally. On the other hand, other research found positive effects, such as increased sibling maturity and sense of responsibility, positive self-concept, less quarrelling and competition, admiration for the CWA, and satisfaction with the sibling relationship. Much of the information from these studies was gathered from parents or teachers. Methods: 20 siblings (11 boys and 9 girls, 7-18 years old, mean age 11.11 years) of CWA took part in an audio recorded interview.  Siblings were asked IRB approved open-ended questions about their experiences, such as how the family members learned about autism; what it was like growing up with the child; difficult or rewarding experiences; how they would change things about growing up with the child. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using appropriate qualitative methods.  Direct quotations that best represent the categories and sub-categories were identified through selective coding. Results: Siblings growing up with a CWA view the experience with ambiguity: while they recognize difficulties, most siblings also recognize rewarding aspects.  Difficult aspects included less attention from parents for normally-developing siblings, extra responsibility, bothersome behaviors (screaming, hitting, crying, tantrums, destructive behaviors, and repetitive behaviors) and lack of communication between siblings and CWA.  Siblings also noted positive qualities of the CWA; valued time spent together, and expressed empathy, concern, love and appreciation for the CWA.  Younger siblings focused on their current experiences and the child’s behaviors, while older siblings were more likely to reflect back on their experiences with the CWA and what they learned.  Even though most siblings would change the negative behaviors of the CWA, they would not change the disability or the child. Implications: Practitioners should be aware of siblings’ experiences and make sure they are afforded time and attention needed to positively cope with living with a CWA. Specifically, it would be important to help younger siblings understand reasons behind the negative behaviors they see in the CWA and assist them focus on positive aspects of the child’s behaviors. It would also be critical to help older siblings share their perceptions with younger siblings so younger siblings can learn how their perceptions change over time. Finally, parents should be appraised of sibling perceptions  and how they change over time.   
Keywords:
Sibling Relations; Autism
Repository Posting Date:
20-Feb-2012
Date of Publication:
20-Feb-2012
Other Identifiers:
5131
Sponsors:
Western Institute of Nursing

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.typeResearch Studyen_GB
dc.titleTHE EXPERIENCES OF SIBLINGS OF CHIDLREN WITH AUTISMen_GB
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10755/211453-
dc.description.abstractPurpose: This study explored siblings’ perceptions of their experiences of living with a child with autism (CWA) since little information exists examining the experiences from the siblings’ perspectives. Rationale: The social and behavioral issues of autism are unique and deeply impact families, particularly siblings. However, existing information often conflicts. For example, some studies indicate the CWA exhibits frightening and violent behavior, and siblings experience stress and less intimacy in sibling relationships and can be negatively affected socially and emotionally. On the other hand, other research found positive effects, such as increased sibling maturity and sense of responsibility, positive self-concept, less quarrelling and competition, admiration for the CWA, and satisfaction with the sibling relationship. Much of the information from these studies was gathered from parents or teachers. Methods: 20 siblings (11 boys and 9 girls, 7-18 years old, mean age 11.11 years) of CWA took part in an audio recorded interview.  Siblings were asked IRB approved open-ended questions about their experiences, such as how the family members learned about autism; what it was like growing up with the child; difficult or rewarding experiences; how they would change things about growing up with the child. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using appropriate qualitative methods.  Direct quotations that best represent the categories and sub-categories were identified through selective coding. Results: Siblings growing up with a CWA view the experience with ambiguity: while they recognize difficulties, most siblings also recognize rewarding aspects.  Difficult aspects included less attention from parents for normally-developing siblings, extra responsibility, bothersome behaviors (screaming, hitting, crying, tantrums, destructive behaviors, and repetitive behaviors) and lack of communication between siblings and CWA.  Siblings also noted positive qualities of the CWA; valued time spent together, and expressed empathy, concern, love and appreciation for the CWA.  Younger siblings focused on their current experiences and the child’s behaviors, while older siblings were more likely to reflect back on their experiences with the CWA and what they learned.  Even though most siblings would change the negative behaviors of the CWA, they would not change the disability or the child. Implications: Practitioners should be aware of siblings’ experiences and make sure they are afforded time and attention needed to positively cope with living with a CWA. Specifically, it would be important to help younger siblings understand reasons behind the negative behaviors they see in the CWA and assist them focus on positive aspects of the child’s behaviors. It would also be critical to help older siblings share their perceptions with younger siblings so younger siblings can learn how their perceptions change over time. Finally, parents should be appraised of sibling perceptions  and how they change over time.   en_GB
dc.subjectSibling Relationsen_GB
dc.subjectAutismen_GB
dc.date.available2012-02-20T11:55:59Z-
dc.date.issued2012-02-20T11:55:59Z-
dc.date.accessioned2012-02-20T11:55:59Z-
dc.description.sponsorshipWestern Institute of Nursingen_GB
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