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From Diagnosis to Intervention: Charting the Path with Families of Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Scott M Tyner, University of Massachusetts Amherst


The growing number of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) warrants better understanding of how clinicians and families work together following a child's diagnosis. Individuals with ASD share pronounced differences in communication and styles of social interaction along with the presence of repetitive behaviors and restricted interests when compared with people who are neurotypical (NT). Separately, or combined, these differences account for a significant degree of challenging behavior among children with ASD. Challenging behavior can often interfere with a child's participation in learning experiences at home and at school and may lead to placements in more restrictive educational settings, or a lower quality of life at home. This study examined the extent to which parental involvement in their child's behavioral support planning and the utilization of social support networks influenced parental well-being, levels of advocacy, and satisfaction with service providers. Thirty parents of young children with ASD between two and eleven years old (n= 30) were surveyed using the Collaborative Behavioral Support Parent Questionnaire (CBSPQ), a 30-item, 7 point Likert type scale. Social support was found to be positively related parental well-being. Additionally, there was a correlation between collaborative behavioral support and the degree to which parents advocated for themselves and their child. Parents who worked closely with their child's treatment team were also more satisfied with services for their children. Follow-up interviews with a subset of the broader sample enlarged understanding of these relationships.

Subject Area

Adult education|Counseling Psychology

Recommended Citation

Tyner, Scott M, "From Diagnosis to Intervention: Charting the Path with Families of Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder" (2013). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3556295.