Date of Paper

5-2013

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Richa Dhanju

Abstract

This study was conducted to determine how typically developing siblings feel about their sibling with Autism or another related disorder. The methods used were a combination of quantitative data and qualitative interviews. The quantitative data consisted of basic demographic data about the family such as the parent’s marital status, household members, and the diagnosis of the Autistic child. The qualitative data consisted of interviews with one or two typical siblings from that family.

This study interviewed eight typical siblings from six different families with an Autistic child: two of the siblings were brothers and six were sisters of a child diagnosed with Autism, Asperger’s Disorder or PDD-NOS. Two of the children with Autism were twins with a typical twin. Plus three out of the six Autistic children were girls, which is not typical of Autism. In this study, the typical siblings expressed moments of frustration and fun with their Autistic sibling. Overall, the siblings were mostly empathetic, supportive and loving towards their Autistic sibling.

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