Families in a state of flux: the experience of grandparents in autism spectrum disorder

Margetts, J. K., Croom, Susan and Le Couteur, A. (2006) Families in a state of flux: the experience of grandparents in autism spectrum disorder. Child: Care, Health and Development, 32 (5). pp. 565-574. ISSN 0305-1862

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2214.2006.00671.x


The experience of being a grandparent of a grandchild with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a previously under-researched area. This study sets out to examine the grandparents' own perspective in an exploratory way using a qualitative approach to answer the question, 'What is the experience like?'
A qualitative research project, using a purposive sampling technique and semi-structured interviews to examine the experiences of six grandparents of children with ASD diagnosed by a specialist team in a second opinion Tier 4 Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service.
The experiences of the grandparents were characterized by three Key Themes which emerged from the interviews: (1) The Parental Bond (protective bonding towards grandchild and adult child); (2) Striving for Answers (searching for meaning); (3) Keeping Intact (holding the family together). Conclusion
The study suggests some interesting insights and confirms the need for more attention to this area. A key question raised by the study is how a child-focused multidisciplinary team can embrace its role in delivering a family-centred service. The clinical implications of this project have led to a change of practice in the specialist team. Further research would be appropriate to investigate the therapeutic effectiveness and cost effectiveness of involving grandparents as part of the assessment process.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The definitive version is available at www.blackwell-synergy.com This study addresses the gap between quantitative research into autism and the provision of effective care. It is one of few studies to involve grandparents. Regional practice has developed in line with the results and the work has been presented at the International Conference of Child Psychiatry, Psychology and AHP.
Uncontrolled Keywords: child disability, child psychiatry, family functioning, mental health, pervasive developmental disorders
Subjects: L900 Others in Social studies
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Nursing, Midwifery and Health
Depositing User: EPrint Services
Date Deposited: 09 May 2008 13:50
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2019 15:26
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/3235

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