The pressures, strains and sometimes joys of looking after a child with autism are increasingly recognized in professional and academic circles. This book presents key findings from a research study conducted by the Family Assessment Unit that involved many long discussions with the parents and siblings of children and young people with autism. The authors provide
* a unique approach dealing specifically with the needs of families
* informed interventions for helping the family units
The authors demonstrate how autism affects parents, siblings and carers. They provide case studies that examine their experiences as individuals and as family units over the life course of their son or daughter, brother or sister with autism. They identify various stressors from this study and an examination of previous research in this area. For example, families often face enormous stress in having the disorder diagnosed. There is also the complex stress associated with increasing social and behavioural difficulties, and guilt arising from others labelling the parents mismanagement of the children. The authors examine the diagnostic process from the viewpoint of parents and primary carers and chart the developments that have taken place in research and practice with families. They develop strategies for supporting and empowering families to better assist their children with autism, including contingency management approaches. Supporting the Families of Children with Autism is a valuable resource for a wide range of professionals who work with autistic children and their families, including health visitors, specialist teachers, social workers and paediatricians. It will be of interest to educational psychologists and families of children with autism.
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