Raising a Child with Autism: A Developmental Perspective on Family Adaptation
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While raising a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often produces chronic stress and strain in families, positive family outcomes are also evident following an ASD diagnosis. Although the complex and heterogeneous nature of ASD is well documented, a coherent understanding of the apparent differences in family outcomes is lacking. This review focuses on the process of family adaptation, identifying important contextual factors that may influence family experiences through the use of a conceptual model. Due to inconsistencies in research findings to date, the potential risk and protective factors in determining family outcomes remain unclear, with most research only focusing on mothers. Few studies have attempted to understand family processes utilising a conceptual model of family adaptation, accounting for stressors, resources, appraisal, and coping strategies. The role of child age in the adaptation process has also been ignored with investigation of family processes across key developmental periods needed to assist in tailoring supports and services to families in a timely fashion.
Current Developmental Disorders Reports
Psychology and Cognitive Sciences not elsewhere classified