The everyday routines of families of children with autism: Examining the impact of sensory processing difficulties on the family

Roseann C. Schaaf, Susan Toth-Cohen, Stephanie L. Johnson, Gina Outten, Teal W. Benevides

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

117 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the lived experience of how sensory-related behaviors of children with autism affected family routines. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with four primary caregivers regarding the meaning and impact of their child's sensory-related behaviors on family routines that occurred inside and outside the home. Findings indicated that sensory behaviors are one factor that limited family participation in work, family and leisure activities; and that parents employed specific strategies to manage individual and family routines in light of the child's sensory-related behaviors. This information has important implications for professionals who work with families of children with autism to decrease caregiver stress and to increase life satisfaction for the child and family.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-389
Number of pages17
JournalAutism
Volume15
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • autism
  • family
  • qualitative research
  • routines
  • sensory processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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