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Families with children who have autism spectrum disorders: Stress and support

by Meadan, H., Halle, J.W., & Ebata, A.T

Meadan, H., Halle, J. & Ebata, A. (2010). Families with children who have autism spectrum disorders: Stress and support. Exceptional Children, 77(1), 7-36.

Many individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have behavior repertoires that might be expected to have an impact on members of both the immediate and extended family.  This article examines this impact, reviewing relevant literature related to stressors and supports for families of individuals with ASD.  The focus of the article highlights research on stressors and supports in the following areas (a) stress in the marital subsystem, (b) stress in the parental subsystem, (c) stress in the sibling subsystem, (d) coping strategies used by families, and (e) informal and formal sources of support used by families.  Implications and recommendations for future research and practice are discussed.

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