Date of Paper

5-2014

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

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

Department

Social Work

First Advisor

Katharine Hill

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative study was to interview parents of children with severe autism and professionals work in residential settings to understand their perspectives of living situations for children with severe autism. Challenging behaviors occur with more frequency and intensity in children with severe autism. Living situations have been shown to have a negative impact on behaviors and the quality of life of a child with autism, as a typical home setting can be over stimulating and overwhelming to children with autism due to the nature of their diagnosis. (Nasir & Tahir, 2012). Findings from previous research show that children with autism have individualized needs and thrive in settings that are designed to meet the unique needs of autism (Feinberg & Vacca, 2000). This study found that challenging behaviors in autism increase parental stress and that more public awareness is needed. Additionally, ideal living situations and suggestions for social workers who work with families impacted by autism were described.

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