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08-06-2020 | Original Paper | Uitgave 9/2020

Journal of Child and Family Studies 9/2020

Parent-Reported Barriers and Enablers of Strengths in their Children with Autism

Tijdschrift:
Journal of Child and Family Studies > Uitgave 9/2020
Auteurs:
Megan Clark, Dawn Adams
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Supplementary information

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10826-020-01741-1) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Abstract

The majority of autism research has a deficit focus; however, researchers are beginning to adopt a strength-based approach to understand autism. This study adds to the evolving strengths research by identifying factors that may help or hinder children’s expression of strengths in the home, school, and community environments. Parents of 102 children with autism, aged 5 to 17 years, reported on the factors they perceived enabled their child’s strengths at home, at school, and in the community, as well as the barriers that hindered their child’s strengths in these same settings. Using content analysis, parents’ open-ended responses were coded into a series of subcategories that formed categories of barriers and enablers across each setting. According to parents, supporting children was the greatest enabler of strengths in the home and school environments, while an inclusive and supportive community environment enabled their child’s strengths within the community. Adaptive and well-being barriers had the most impact on strengths at home; social, emotional, and behavioural challenges were the greatest barrier of strengths at school; and attitudes, expectations, and a lack of community understanding hindered children’s use of strengths in the community, according to their parents. Parent identification of the factors that enable or prevent children’s expression of strengths provides possible avenues for intervention to support children to show their strengths at home, at school, and in the community.

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