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04-07-2015 | Original Paper | Uitgave 11/2015

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 11/2015

Support Needs of Families Living with Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders > Uitgave 11/2015
Billie Margaret Jean Searing, Fiona Graham, Rebecca Grainger


This study examined the perceived availability and helpfulness of supports used by caregivers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in New Zealand, particularly for caregivers who are Māori, and who live rurally. Caregivers (N = 92) completed the Family Support Scale with comparisons analysed using t tests. Free text comments were invited and analysed using a general inductive approach. More support was perceived as available by Non-Māori than Māori p = 0.03, 95 % CI (0.21, 3.88). Spouses were rated as the most helpful support. Professional helpers were rated as ‘somewhat helpful’. Helpful support emphasised caring, knowledge and accessibility. Ethnic differences in perceptions of support endorse calls for culturally tailored supports. Informal supports are highly valued however professional supports require development to better meet caregiver needs.

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