Journal of Marital and Family Therapy : Autism and Family Therapy (Octobre 2017)

samedi 7 octobre 2017

1. Lewis LF. “We will never be normal” : The Experience of Discovering a Partner Has Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. 2017 ; 43(4) : 631-43.

Online forums and lay literature suggest that partners of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) experience depression, distress, and trauma in their everyday lives, exacerbated during the time surrounding diagnosis. In this content analysis, 29 participants were provided with an online open-ended statement asking them to describe in writing their experiences of discovering that their partners had ASD during their relationships. Six themes emerged, including : facing unique challenges within relationships ; insisting partners seek diagnosis ; initial shock and relief ; losing hope for normalcy ; making accommodations within relationships ; and wishing for professional support. Marriage and family therapists should help couples minimize blaming and promote self-awareness, appropriate relationship expectations, and mutual understanding. Future research should explore the overall experience of neuro-mixed relationships for both partners.

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2. Johnson J, Piercy FP. Exploring Partner Intimacy Among Couples Raising Children on the Autism Spectrum : A Grounded Theory Investigation. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. 2017 ; 43(4) : 644-61.

In this study, we explored how couples raising children with autism spectrum disorder negotiate intimacy, including what contextual and temporal factors influence these processes. We conducted conjoint interviews with 12 couples, employing grounded theory methodology to collect and analyze the data. Our results indicated that fostering intimacy in these couples’ relationships involves partners working together to make key cognitive and relational shifts. Couples are aided or hindered in making these shifts by the degree to which they experience various contextual and environmental factors as resources or roadblocks. We also found that intimacy is not a fixed point at which couples one day arrive, but is an iterative process taking place over time and requiring work to develop and maintain.

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3. Lee NA, Furrow JL, Bradley BA. Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy for Parents Raising a Child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder : A Pilot Study. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy. 2017 ; 43(4) : 662-73.

Many couples raising children diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are often resilient in confronting unique parental demands, while others experience greater risk for relational distress. Research has shown that Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT) is efficacious with couples raising chronically ill children and relevant to the relational demands of parents of children diagnosed with an ASD. This pilot study tested the effectiveness of EFT with seven couples presenting with moderate to severe distress, who were also parents of a child diagnosed with an ASD. Results demonstrated significant decreases in marital distress at posttreatment and 6-month follow-up. The study also identified several unique themes associated with couple distress and the parenting experiences of this population.

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