Families of children with autism: A synthesis of family routines literature

  • Boyd B
  • McCarty C
  • Sethi C
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This paper provides a selective review and synthesis of the occupation-focused literature on routines of families of children with autism, in order to identify commonalities, critique the disability/barriers perspective often employed in research with these families, and to offer suggestions for further research. Identified commonalities include (a) tension between the need for and difficulty with routines, (b) the link between family routines and health of the family, (c) family participation as patterned around the child with autism, (d) pursuit of routines in the face of challenges, (e) difficult routines, (f) meaningful routines for family bonding, and (g) adaptations families make to routines. We go beyond the research findings to address how the “embrace of paradox” impacts caregivers’ perceptions of family routines. Finally, we offer suggestions for the way forward in occupational science research with families with children with autism, in order to address gaps in the literature and move towards identifying keys to successful family participation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved). (journal abstract)

Author-supplied keywords

  • Autism
  • Disability
  • Family occupations
  • Rituals
  • Routines

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  • Brian A. Boyd

  • Caroline Harkins McCarty

  • Chetna Sethi

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