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A Support Group for Siblings of Children with Autism


A Support Group for Siblings of Children with Autism

da Costa, Stephanie (2022) A Support Group for Siblings of Children with Autism. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Typically developing (TD) children who have a sibling with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are not often given the opportunity to receive an intervention that is tailored to their complex family life situations and their unique experiences. An online support group for siblings of children with autism was implemented to provide a safe space for TD siblings to express their feelings, increase their knowledge of their sibling’s disorder, learn coping strategies and problem-solving skills, and seek comfort from others in similar situations. This study consisted of a sibling support group, whereby participants attended eight weekly one-hour sessions virtually via Zoom. A mixed method approach was used in order to gather evidence for the aforementioned goals. Data gathered from the participants (N=5) was analyzed from observations during the support group sessions and demographic questionnaires completed by parents, in addition to the Knowledge on Autism Spectrum Disorder, KIDCOPE, and the View of Siblings Questionnaire (VSQ; pre and post) given to participants before and after attending the support group. Qualitative results indicated that all participants improved their understanding and knowledge of their sibling’s ASD, benefitted from working on their self-esteem, developed a peer network, and developed their communication skills. Furthermore, most of the participants (60%) increased their use of adaptive coping strategies, while some of the participants (40%) decreased their use of maladaptive coping strategies. Moreover, the majority of participants reported improvements in their sibling relationships in addition to satisfaction in their attendance of the sibling support group.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Education
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:da Costa, Stephanie
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Child Studies
Date:March 2022
Thesis Supervisor(s):D'Amico, Miranda
ID Code:990376
Deposited By: Stephanie da Costa
Deposited On:16 Jun 2022 14:33
Last Modified:16 Jun 2022 14:33
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