Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

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


Social Work

First Advisor

Michael Chovanec, Ph.D., LICSW


Social Work


This qualitative research study examines the challenges that families of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) face when implementing their child’s treatment objectives. Likewise, this study investigates which strategies families utilize to actively participate in family skill objectives to implement their child’s treatment plan. Three caregivers (two women and one man) were recruited from around the state of Minnesota to participate in this study. A series of open-ended and scaled questions were asked of participants and the interviews were audio-taped for transcribing purposes. A literature review was written to highlight some of the expressed challenges and strategies families utilized and faced when implementing treatment objectives and these themes were compared and contrasted to the actual research. Research findings indicated that families were challenged by the availability of their schedules to participate in skill development, by challenges in caregiving for other children who resided in the house, and by their own physical and mental health concerns. The research indicated that some of the effective strategies that families utilized included involving other family members in the participation of family skills, working with therapists to generalize their child’s behavior to other contexts and people, and prioritizing time to work with a therapist on skill implementation and development. Being familiar with the challenges families face as well as the strategies they employ to address these challenges are imperative for social workers and other professionals who serve families of children with ASD. It is crucial as professionals to create and reinforce effective family skill development and the successful acquisition and generalization of children’s skills.

Included in

Social Work Commons