The social and emotional adjustment of siblings of children with disabilities.
Gerfin, Rhianna M.
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SubjectBrothers and sisters.; Autism spectrum disorders.; Down syndrome.; Adjustment disorders in children
The question addressed in this study is: Are siblings of children with disabilities affected socially and emotionally? This study will take place through interviews with four siblings of children with disabilities, specifically Autism Spectrum Disorder and Down syndrome. The participants vary in age from 16-20, and each of their siblings each fall on a different part of the Autism Spectrum. The Bowen Family Systems theory states that anything that happens to a specific family member has an impact on the rest of the family. The theory also states that a family is a unit and that all members are interacting parts that cannot be separated from one another as they are dependent on one another and unified (Bowen, 1966). This study will build upon the Family Systems Theory, and will focus on the factors that contribute to the social and emotional adjustments that may affect the siblings of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Down Syndrome. Although research has been completed in this area of study, there have been little to no consistences found. This study will potentially identify consistencies among siblings of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Down syndrome and guide future researchers and educators to identifying intervention services, differentiated instruction, and other accommodations that these siblings may need.
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