, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 83-100

Review of Literature Related to the Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Adjustment of Siblings of Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Abstract

Many individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have unique characteristics such as impairments in social interactions and communication that are expected to have an impact on members of the family. Much of the research investigating impact on family members when a child has ASD has focused on the parents and not the siblings. The purpose of this paper is to review the literature related to the social, emotional, and behavioral adjustment of siblings of individuals with ASD. A comprehensive review of the literature identified 12 articles published between 1997 and 2008 that were related to the social, emotional, and behavioral adjustment of sibling of individuals with ASD. Six themes related to the challenges of studying siblings of individuals with disabilities (Hodapp et al. Mental Retardation 45:334-338, 2005) are described in relation to the reviewed studies. The literature review revealed mixed results on outcomes for and adjustment of the typically developing siblings. Implications for both research and practice are discussed.