The coping strategies of families who have more than one child with autism: a qualitative study

Waterson, Imogen (2012) The coping strategies of families who have more than one child with autism: a qualitative study. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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Abstract

How do families with more than one child with autism manage to cope and do they risk family disintegration or demonstrate resilience?
Although there is extensive literature on coping with children with disabilities, no previous study has examined the effect of living with two or more children with autism. Eleven families including parents, siblings, and verbal children with autism, (45individuals) were interviewed to ascertain their coping strategies. Using Grounded Theory, the semi-structured interview typescripts were analysed, and a theory emerged that all families cope, but they go through different periods of perilous coping and buoyant coping. The various factors which lead to each type of coping are demonstrated, and discussed.
Practical suggestions to improve coping are given by the families. Their message to the non autistic world was that they do not want to be pitied. The results showed a remarkable degree of resilience in all the families. Family and extended family were the most significant source of support. Perilous coping was associated with a number of intervening factors.
The families showed real warmth and love towards the affected children and in spite of concerns about the future, the non affected siblings were confident they would look after their disabled siblings when the parents were no longer able to do so. Children with autism had a fascinating range of perceptions about autism.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences > Norwich Medical School
Depositing User: Mia Reeves
Date Deposited: 08 May 2013 11:49
Last Modified: 08 May 2013 11:49
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/40589
DOI:

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