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Autism and the Family

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  1. 1. Autistic Children and the Family<br />Gladys Arias<br />PSY 494<br />November 30, 2009<br />
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  3. 3. Overview:<br />What is Autism (ASD)?<br />Statistics<br />How does ASD affect sibling relationships?<br />How can siblings positively influence the developmental process of their autistic sibling?<br />Treatment, Interventions and Funding<br />Conclusion<br />
  4. 4. What is ASD?<br />Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD). <br />Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD):<br />PDD- Pervasive Developmental Disorder<br />Asperger&apos;s Syndrome, Rett Syndrome and Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. <br />
  5. 5. Statistics:<br />1 in every 150 children is diagnosed with autism (Autism Speaks, 2009).<br />An estimated 1.5 million individuals in the U.S. and tens of millions worldwide are affected by autism (Autism Speaks, 2009). <br />Government statistics suggest the prevalence rate of autism is increasing 10-17 percent annually (Autism Speaks, 2009).<br />Boys are more likely than girls to develop autism and receive the diagnosis three to four times more frequently (Autism Speaks, 2009).<br />1 out of 94 boys is diagnosed with autism. <br />
  6. 6. How does ASD affect sibling relationships?<br />Raising an autistic child<br />Although most researchers find negative results on siblings of an autistic sibling, the bond between the siblings is very pure. Autism in the family should not be seen as a negative factor, but a binding product for a family as a life-long and highly influential lifestyle (Foden, 2009). <br />Sibling therapy, education, and training are vital for development of non-handicapped children. Only certain siblings are susceptible to become affected by the autistic child. The affect all depends on the sibling’s sex, birth order, socioeconomic status, and parental responses to the autistic child (Labato, 1983). <br />However, some studies explain that the presence of an autistic child may intensify the disengagement between siblings causing aggressive behavior and anger towards the autistic child. Therefore, normally developing children already have the ability to learn in a faster manner; the autistic child needs the proper skills and help in order to improve behavior (Cancro, 2008).<br />
  7. 7. How can siblings positively influence the developmental process of their autistic sibling?<br />Most siblings show worry and concern towards their disabled sibling. They are mainly concerned with future living and happiness (for themselves and their sibling with Autism) (Aucoin, 2008).<br />“The relational shifts within sibling relationships and through the expectable differential parental treatment of each child are highly observed, including the interrelationships with the extended family, peers, and friendships, all of which contribute to shaping the meaning that siblings give to living with developmentally challenged brothers or sisters across time (Schuntermann,2007).” <br />
  8. 8. siblings play a healthy and prominent role in their autistic sibling’s development. <br />
  9. 9. Treatment , Interventions and funding<br />Interventions and programs for families living with a disabled member, or members, is a healthy way to relieve stress, tension, and pressure from the household. The Autism Research Center provides support for autistic children and their families (Foden, 2009). This particular program includes weeklong “Family Fun Days” in the summer that feature swimming, sing-a-longs, fishing, canoeing, cookouts, crafts, and games (Foden, 2009). <br />Participating in such activities will increase the likelihood of union and understanding amongst family members. Therefore, autism can be turned into a positive matter instead of being sought out as a deleterious situation in the household. <br />
  10. 10. Treatment , Interventions and funding Continue…<br />Schools in many states are not free for autistic children.<br />Statistics show that it costs nearly $60,000 to treat a low functioning autistic child (McGraw, 2009). <br />Such high costs for treatment may be setting back new findings in research and treatment programs for ASD children. <br />Treatment within the school system will allow for improvement at home with family and siblings. <br />
  11. 11. Conclusion<br /> Autism Spectrum Disorder has been targeted to be detrimental to not only the child, but the entire family. But why are the negative factors of autism concerning researchers without completely researching all possible issues? Most research findings mentioned the extent to how much negative behavior change normal functioning siblings are experiencing. Yet, multiple factors such as gender, financial situations, birth order, parenting styles, and lack of treatment programs are significant to why parents and siblings are receiving the “short end of the stick” from ASD.<br />
  12. 12. References<br />Aucoin, Don. (2008) Siblings of autistic children get a chance to express concerns. Globe Staff.<br />Autism Speaks (2009) Information retrieved from www.autismspeaks.org on N0vember 29, 2009<br />Cancro, Ralph. (2009) Children with Autism & Their Siblings. Exceptional Parent. Vol. 38 Issue 12, p30-30, 1p<br />Foden, Teresa J., (2009) How do siblings affect autistic kids? Putting Our Heads Together. Interactive Autism Network. <br />Laboto, Debra. (1983) Siblings of handicapped children: A review. The Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. Springer Netherlands. Vol 13, Num<br />
  13. 13. References continue…<br />McGraw, Carol. (2009) Schools cope with challenge of challenge of educating autistic students. The Gazette. <br />Schuntermann, Peter. (2007) The Sibling Experience. Growing up with a Child Who has Pervasive Developmental Disorder or Mental Retardation. Harvard Review of Psychiatry. Vol.15 Issue 3, p93-108, 16p<br />