Autism and the Family – Understanding and Supporting Parents and Siblings
The reverberations of autism spectrum disorders among parents and siblings can be complex. Parents may grapple with the impact of their child’s initial diagnosis, wrestle with the tension between their professional ambitions and family obligations, and labor to maintain a healthy union with their partners. Brothers and sisters may be given less attention, asked to assume a more adult role than they feel ready for, or strive for meaningful connection and communication with their sibling and parents.
Although the energy of clinicians, teachers, and other professionals working with individuals with autism spectrum disorder is often focused intensively on the child who is diagnosed, the practitioner can also be an invaluable resource for the child’s family.
Drawing upon clinical research and firsthand family interviews, this book helps clinicians understand the experiences of parents and siblings of a child with ASD from the time of diagnosis through adulthood. It provides clear recommendations for sensitive, informed professional support. Step-by-step in each chapter, Fiske elucidates such vital subjects as:
Understanding the experience of diagnosis
Recognizing patterns of parent stress over time
Appreciating and navigating the effects of ASD on relationships between parents
Involving and providing support for siblings
Integrating grandparents and other extended family in care and treatment
Understanding a family’s culture
Identifying and developing effective coping strategies
Building a strong rapport with parents and family
Guiding parents in the treatment of autism
And many more, including key takeaways for assisting families in managing feelings of grief and guilt, navigating support options, treatment resources, and related financial concerns, and calibrating the division of labor in the home.
Autism and the Family supplies all the foundations necessary for professionals to understand the full impact of ASD on the child, siblings, and parents and cultivate an empathic, supportive approach to treatment for the entire family.