The Relationship Between Autism and Parenting Stress

National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Mailstop E-86, 1600 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA.
PEDIATRICS (Impact Factor: 5.47). 03/2007; 119 Suppl 1(Supplement):S114-21. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2006-2089Q
Source: PubMed


We assessed associations between parenting a child with autism and stress indicators.
In the 2003 National Survey of Children's Health, parents or other knowledgeable adult respondents for children aged 4 to 17 years reported their recent feelings about their life sacrifices to care for their child, difficulty caring for their child, frustration with their child's actions, and anger toward their child. Responses were compiled in the Aggravation in Parenting Scale. Parents of children reported to have autism (N = 459) were compared with parents of: (1) children with special health care needs including emotional, developmental, or behavioral problems other than autism that necessitated treatment (children with other developmental problems [N = 4545]); (2) children with special health care needs without developmental problems (N = 11475); and (3) children without special health care needs (N = 61826). Weighted estimates are presented.
Parents of children with autism were more likely to score in the high aggravation range (55%) than parents of children with developmental problems other than autism (44%), parents of children with special health care needs without developmental problems (12%), and parents of children without special health care needs (11%). However, within the autism group, the proportion of parents with high aggravation was 66% for those whose child recently needed special services and 28% for those whose child did not. The parents of children with autism and recent special service needs were substantially more likely to have high aggravation than parents of children with recent special service needs in each of the 3 comparison groups. Conversely, parents of children with autism but without recent special service needs were not more likely to have high aggravation than parents of children with other developmental problems.
Parenting a child with autism with recent special service needs seems to be associated with unique stresses.

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Available from: Catherine E Rice, Aug 14, 2014
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    • "). The demands of caring for a child with ASD is associated with increased parenting stress (Blanchard et al., 2006; Karst and Van Hecke, 2012; Schieve et al., 2007; Weiss et al., 2012). Compared to children without ASD, children with ASD have higher healthcare use, including physician visits; physical, occupational, or speech therapy; and treatment for emotional, developmental, or behavioral problems (Gurney et al., 2006). "
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    ABSTRACT: The objectives of this study are to evaluate the employee benefits parents of children with autism spectrum disorders have, how benefits are used, work change, and job satisfaction. We conducted a cross-sectional mailed survey study of 435 families with children with autism spectrum disorders residing in the United States. We received 161 surveys for a response rate of 37%. Families reported using the following benefits: 39% paid family leave, 19% unpaid family leave, 91% flexible work arrangements, and 86% telecommuting. Of respondents, 43% reported stopping work, cutting down on hours worked, or changing jobs because of their child's condition. Having paid family leave was a positive predictor for job satisfaction. Parents of children with autism spectrum disorders have an interest and need for alternative work arrangements. © The Author(s) 2015.
    Autism 09/2015; DOI:10.1177/1362361315598891 · 3.50 Impact Factor
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    • "Specifically , children with ASD are characterized by lack of joint attention, empathy, and impaired reciprocity (Leekam and Ramsden 2006; Mundy et al. 1986) as well as deficiencies in identifying emotions and inferring other's mental states (Baron-Cohen 1988; Happe 2003; Hobson 2005; Klin et al. 2009). Concomitantly, parents of children with ASD report more stress and difficulties engaging their child in enjoyable reciprocal play, and, for verbal children, fewer opportunities to build meaningful conversations (Estes et al. 2013; Hall and Graff 2012; Keen et al. 2007; McStay et al. 2013; Oono et al. 2013; Schieve et al. 2007). In turn, parents of children with ASD may often need to adapt their verbal interactions to their child's social and communication impairments during joint activities (Doussard-Roosevelt et al. 2003; Howlin and Rutter 1989; Watson 1998). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Parent-guided conversations about the past promote the development of autobiographical memory, defined as explicit memory of an event that occurred in a specific time and place in one’s life (Nelson & Fivush 2004). The expression of self is facilitated by narrative skills which evolve from joint reminiscing experiences -an inherently social activity- supported by shared minds, often lacking in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Parents are adapting their communicative styles based on their view of the child’s ability to participate actively. Prior research on personal narratives in children with ASD reported organizational difficulties and a focus on details (e.g., Goldman, 2008). Therefore, children with ASD may have difficulties maintaining meaningful conversations about personal events which in turn may affect parental input and verbal transactions. Here, we focused on parents’ strategies to guide their child’s recall and analyzed parents’ differing ways to enter into the discourse about the past. Objectives: To examine (1) negotiation among dyads regarding speaker/responder roles; (2) prevalence of directives versus elaborated questions and responses among the three groups; and (3) focus on enrichment of shared events versus memory accuracy during past event conversations among three diagnostic groups. Methods: Parent-child conversations about autobiographical memories were recorded and coded for events, length, and speaking turn type in 11 high-functioning with ASD (HFA), 11 non-autistic with developmental language disorders (DLD), and 8 typically developing (TD) children matched for chronological age and non-verbal IQ. Analyses focused on (1) parent’s eliciting strategy and (2) child’s response choice. Speaking turns were coded as questions (direct or elaborate), responses (direct or elaborate), non-obligatory bids for participation (comments, acknowledgments or corrections), or unrelated/irrelevant utterances. Results: No significant differences between diagnostic groups were found for number of events, length of conversation, total turns taken, and number of turns taken by parent or child. Significant differences were found in speaking turn type. HFA parents used more direct questions than TD parents. Additionally, HFA and DLD parents used more corrections than TD parents. Lastly, HFA dyads used fewer comments than TD dyads, but more unrelated/irrelevant turns than both DLD and TD dyads. Conclusions: Analysis of transactional conversations about the past provides an opportunity to examine the interplay between child’s communication deficits and parents’ input. As such, these results shed light onto parents’ strategies and their child’s response type. Specifically, HFA parents not only used more direct questions to elicit recall but also focused more on memory accuracy as opposed to TD parents who provided enrichment through elaboration. Parents of HFA and DLD children naturally adjusted their conversational style to their child’s communication difficulties and used these directive strategies to ensure successful verbal exchanges. Yet, these direct questions may put the emphasis on external and factual details rather than affect and a sense of self. These results should encourage parents to value meaningful personal conversation with their child, regardless of social or language difficulties, in order to strengthen their sense of self.
    2014 International Meeting for Autism Research; 05/2014
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    • "Parents of children with Pervasive Development Disorders showed higher loads for a combination of environmental and genetic factors. Schieve [24] also stresses that parents of children with developmental disabilities may experience severe stress, impaired physical functioning, fatigue or exhaustion. We found that based on the place of residence of mothers of girls with MMC the largest differences were in the physical health domain. "
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: Children with myelomeningocele (MMC) require complex treatment and long-term commitment from the family in the therapeutic and educational process. All the burdens of the chronic disease affect the quality of life of parents and guardians. The aim of this study to assess the quality of life of parents of children with MMC. Material and methods: The study included 50 mothers of children with MMC. The WHOQOL-BREF questionnaire was used as a research tool; it enables obtaining a quality of life profile in four domains areas: physical health, psychological, social relationships, and environment. The child's motor impairment was assessed using the classification of Hoffer. Results: Significant differences were observed in all domains in the assessment of quality of life (physical health, psychological, social relationships, and environment). Mothers of boys with MMC from the villages reported a better quality life in the psychological domain Mothers of girls with MMC reported a better quality life in the physical health domain. Mothers of healthy children better assessed the individual overall perception of quality of life (82.4 � 9.6) than parents of children with MMC (74.4 � 11.5) and overall perceptions of their own health (parents of healthy children (78 � 11.6); parents of children with MMC (74 � 14.1). Conclusions: Mothers of children with MMC had a lower quality of life in all the analyzed domains compared with mothers of healthy children. Deterioration in the quality of life of mothers with sick children is more common among those living in the city.
    Pediatria polska 05/2013; 88:241-246. DOI:10.1016/j.pepo.2013.02.001
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