Parents And Autistic Children Essay

1849 words - 7 pages

Almost everyone has encountered a child or someone with some level of autism, but whenever we passed by them we never really stop to think about how this illness affects their lifestyle. To be totally honest, I never really thought about it either until my mother befriended someone who has a child with autism. She really wanted to meet me; therefore she once invited me to dinner at her house where I met her husband and her son. During dinner, I was able to have a better insight of their lifestyle and the struggles they encounter when they have an autistic child. One of those problems that most impacted me was the constant debate of whether taking their autistic child to a facility that provides food, room, and schooling. Her husband rejected the idea of taking their child to an unknown place completely and thought the idea was simply a selfish way to get rid of their child so they do not have to deal with raising him/her. Although this method is not his cup of tea, my mother’s friend actually thought it was a reasonable way to help them cope with the stress of raising a child with this kind of illness. Their situation made me think about all the other methods that a parent can take if they do not want to send their child to a facility and how these methods affect their stress levels. Therefore I want to explore how having a child with autism affects parent’s stress and if methods to treat autism helps reduce stress levels or any other psychological concerns parents come across.
During my research I wanted to know if individuals who have a child with autism have an increase in stress levels or any other health problems. Therefore, I researched autism and parents and I found a journal article from Journal Of Child & Family Studies called The Brief Family Stress Scale: A measure of Crisis in Caregivers of Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders by Jonathan A. Weiss and Yona Lunsky published on 22nd of September, 2010 and published by springer Science +Business Media, LL 2010, in which thoroughly summarizes a study where they wanted to measure the “crisis”, or stress levels, caregivers encounter when taking care of a child with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The study was based on 164 participants, mostly parents. The scale ranged from 1 to 10, 1 being that they encountered absolutely no stress and 10 being close to a “crisis” of stress; the average of the scores was 4.5 in which showed that most of the participants rated “Things are often stressful, but we are managing to deal with problems when they arise.” An 11 percent of the caregivers rated themselves a 6 or 7 (“We have to work extremely hard every moment of every day to avoid having a “crisis” or “We won’t be able to handle things soon. If one more thing goes wrong- we will be in crisis”) The study also measured the level of worry for caring for an adult child in the future in which showed that 12% of the sample had low levels of worry, 50 % of the sample had moderate levels of worry,...

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