Adjustment characteristics of healthy siblings of children with autism Academic Article uri icon


  • Abstract We compared parents' self-reports with self-reports from 27 children who have siblings with autism and 27 children with no disabled sibling. A qualitative analysis of data from the Child Behavioral Checklist and the quantitative analysis of the Weinberger Adjustment Inventory produced two main findings:(a) siblings have markedly lower levels of participation in extracurricular activities; and (b) parents and siblings defined the attributes 'helpfulness/responsibility'in an almost dichotomous manner. Whereas parents considered these to be positive attributes of their healthy child, self-reports suggest that for siblings these same attributes may be a source of distress. Findings suggest that counselors and parents may assist siblings to lessen possible emotional distress by lowering expectations of assistance and by facilitating their participation in activities outside the home.

publication date

  • January 1, 2010