International Meeting for Autism Research (London, May 15-17, 2008): Identity and disability-understanding of children who have a sibling with Autism

Identity and disability-understanding of children who have a sibling with Autism

Saturday, May 17, 2008
Champagne Terrace/Bordeaux (Novotel London West)
11:30 AM
S. Takura , Graduate School of Education and Human Development, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan
Background:   Children who have a sibling with disability tend to have lower self esteem or adjustment problems. The purpose of this study was to reveal an effect on the program for children who have a sibling with Autism. The program was focused on their understanding of themselves and sibling’s disability.

Objectives: The participants were 6-13 years old (8 boys and 11 girls). Their siblings were diagnosed with Autism and belong to the Asperger and the LD society.

Methods:  Childrenspent 5 days on Himaka island of Japan in August, 2007. The program was composed with self-understanding, disability understanding program and marine education, such as swimming, crab fishing and so on. Their behaviors in the activities and sentences of daily questionnaire were evaluated by a coordinator and 5 staff of the program.

Results: After the program, they could notice their strong points and weak points as well as those of sibling’s. Also they could understand common characteristics among each sibling with Autism and verbally express their anxiety and anger when they had spent with their siblings. Moreover, some could recognize sibling’s uniqueness and differences from other participant’s relations as strength. Also marine education promotes communication between children and effectively works as pleasure.

Conclusions: The program encouraged participant’s understanding of themselves and sibling’s characteristics. Using marine education, it provided more chances to communicate with children in similar situations. It made it easier for them to openly talk about their feelings and discuss the answers when they get into quarrels with their kin. However, we could not reveal consistent effects of this program. It is important to follow children in regular meetings and sophisticate the program which can provide result at various settings.

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