The Impact of Children With High-Functioning Autism on Parental Stress, Sibling Adjustment, and Family Functioning

  • Patricia A. Rao D
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The article discuses a study conducted to investigate the impact of children with high-functioning autism (HFA) on parental stress, sibling adjustment, and fam- ily functioning; the study involves a sample of parents of 15 children with HFA and parents of 15 matched control children who completed questionnaires measuring the dependent variables. The results indicate parents of children with HFA experience significantly more parenting stress than parents of children with no psychological disorder, which was found to be directly related to char- acteristics of the children. The study further shows that the higher intellectual functioning in children with HFA does not compensate for the stress associated with parenting children with autism spectrum disorders. Because the interven- tion efforts directed at children with HFA will not eliminate the child’s primary symptoms, treatment programs may need to address parental stress, which in turn will help optimize treatment outcome for the child and the family.

Author-supplied keywords

  • family
  • high-functioning autism
  • parent stress
  • siblings

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  • Deborah C. Beidel Patricia A. Rao

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