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Stacie Keirsey, Psy.D., is a 2017 graduate of the PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology at Antioch University, Seattle.

Dissertation Committee:

  • Mary Wieneke , Ph.D., Committee Chair
  • Steve Curtis, Ph.D., Committee Member
  • Ned Farley, Ph.D., Committee Member

Document Type

Dissertation

Publication Date

2016

Abstract

In recent years, the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been on the rise, prompting a simultaneous increase in scientific study regarding cause, impact, and intervention (Hughes, 2009; Ravindran & Myers, 2012). Research has proposed advances in the treatment of the individuals diagnosed and focused efforts on scholastic, parental, and professional intervention and supports. However, the siblings of ASD children have largely been neglected in this scientific investigation. The purpose of this hermeneutic phenomenological study was to explore neurotypical siblings’ experiences in living with a child diagnosed with ASD. Seven adolescents were selected using criterion, convenience, and snowball sampling. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews and were analyzed using thematic reflection (van Manen, 1990). Data analysis uncovered seven themes: (a) personal impact, (b) familial impact, (c) social impact, (d) relational understanding, (e) socio-cultural influence, (f) future outlook, and (g) advice. Findings indicated neurotypical sibling experiences contain both positive and negative perceptions of living with a brother or sister diagnosed with ASD. Perceptions were often influenced by the cultural and societal value placed upon normal behaviors. The need for appropriate education regarding ASD etiology, symptomology, and treatment was deemed to be important for NTD siblings, parents, professionals, and society at large. Additionally, the development of social supports for NTD siblings was suggested.

Comments

Stacie Keirsey, Psy.D., 2017.

ORCID Scholar# 0000-0003-3949-9024