Date of Paper

5-2012

Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

msw

Department

socialwork

First Advisor

Keith DeRaad

Abstract

This study investigated the experiences of individuals with a sibling diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. Six siblings between the ages of eighteen and thirty-nine participated in the study. This qualitative study investigated the quality of the sibling relationship between the neuro-typical sibling and the sibling diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. In addition, participants were asked how having a sibling diagnosed with an autism spectrum impacted their pro-social behavior, parental treatment, career choice, self-esteem, and academic performance. The advantages and disadvantages of have a sibling diagnosed with an autism spectrum were also explored. Results indicated that participants have very close sibling relationships with their sibling diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder but there were mixed responses to how their sibling affected their academic performance and parental treatment. The majority of participants responded that their sibling on the autism spectrum had an impact in their career choice. All of the participants believed that their sibling improved their pro-social behavior making them more compassionate and understanding of other peoples’ differences.

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