Disclosure of an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Diagnosis: Parent Reported Impacts of Disclosure to Siblings

Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental spectrum disorder of social communication and behaviour. ASD presents many different challenges to families in which an ASD diagnosis is present. As there is a growing prevalence rate of ASD, it is important to explore the impact that ASD can have on the family system. Researchers have focused on the disclosure of an ASD diagnosis to parents or individuals with ASD, but there is a lack of investigation of the impact of disclosure to siblings without ASD. To explore this gap in the literature, 22 parents of a child with ASD and another child without ASD were purposively sampled to complete a semi-structured interview about their perceived impacts of their telling their child(ren) without ASD about the affected child’s diagnosis. Data were analyzed via Thematic Analysis and five themes were derived: (1) Incorporation into support networks; (2) Making sense of difficult situations; (3) Embracing the sibling with ASD as they are; (4) Comprehension of observed differences; and (5) Endorse inquiry towards a greater understanding. Themes were fit into a temporal framework (long- or short-term impacts). The results provide a starting point for understanding how ASD diagnostic disclosure impacts unaffected siblings.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), siblings, disclosure, impacts
Gray, S. M. (2018). Disclosure of an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis: Parent reported impacts of disclosure to siblings (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from https://prism.ucalgary.ca. doi:10.11575/PRISM/32929