Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 49, Issue 9, pp 3602–3610 | Cite as

Family Accommodation in Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Inbal Feldman
  • Judah KollerEmail author
  • Eli R. Lebowitz
  • Cory Shulman
  • Esther Ben Itzchak
  • Ditza A. Zachor
Original Paper


Family accommodation occurs frequently among families of children with OCD and anxiety disorders, with higher levels of accommodation repeatedly associated with greater symptom severity, lower functioning, and poorer treatment outcomes for children. This is the first examination of family accommodation of restricted and repetitive behaviors (RRBs) in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Parents of children with ASD (N = 86) completed questionnaires assessing their children’s RRBs and parental accommodation of these symptoms. Most participants (80%) reported engaging in accommodation at least once a month and family accommodation was significantly positively correlated with RRB severity. These results suggest accommodation of RRBs follows a pattern similar to that reported in obsessive compulsive and anxiety disorders, and highlight avenues for potential parent-based interventions.


Autism spectrum disorder Restricted and repetitive behaviors Family accommodation Parent–child interaction 



We thank the children and families who participated in this project, Yael Duchovni for help with the data collection and the staff at Assaf Harofeh: Orit Stolar M.D., Analia Shaffer, Mika Melamed, Tom Shai, Eliane Kamelot, Ariella Eilam, Madlan Molcho, and Ira Goldman.

Author Contributions

JK and ERL conceived of the study, and participated in its design and coordination along with IF and DAZ; JK, ERL and CS participated in measurement design; IF was responsible for data collection and organization along with EBI; DAZ was responsible for all clinical characterization; IF performed the statistical analyses; IF and JK were responsible for interpretation of the data; IF drafted the manuscript with JK; All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the medical center’s research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Seymour Fox School of EducationHebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael
  2. 2.Yale Child Study CenterYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  3. 3.Paul Baerwald School of Social Work and Social WelfareHebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael
  4. 4.Department of Communication DisordersAriel UniversityArielIsrael
  5. 5.The Autism Center, Assaf Harofeh Medical CenterZerifinIsrael
  6. 6.Sackler Faculty of MedicineTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael

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