Creating a different kind of normal: parent and child perspectives on sibling relationships when one child in the family has autism spectrum disorder

Vijetta Bachraz*, Rebekah Grace

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This article reports findings from a study that explored the nature of sibling relationships when one child in the family has autism. It employs a collective case study approach to capture the perspectives of parents and young children (aged four to seven years) from three different families. A multifaceted exploration of sibling relationships was achieved by employing qualitative methods including in-depth interviews with parents and children and naturalistic observations. Family systems theory and ecocultural theory provided the theoretical backdrop to this research. The results support previous research which points to issues such as differential treatment of siblings and the development of a non-typical relationship with the sibling with autism. Where this study diverges is in its interpretation of these findings. This article challenges the subjective nature of the concept of 'normalcy' which pervades the dominant discourse in disability research. It seeks to understand the resilience and processes of families as they set about creating their own kind of normal.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)317-330
    Number of pages14
    JournalContemporary Issues in Early Childhood
    Volume10
    Issue number4
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2009

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