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Res Dev Disabil. 2008 Jul-Aug;29(4):289-300. Epub 2007 Jul 2.

Parents of children with Asperger syndrome or with learning disabilities: family environment and social support.

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  • 1The Open University of Israel, Department of Education and Psychology, 108 Ravutski St., Raanana 43107, Israel. talihe@openu.ac.il


The study examined the family environment and perceived social support of 33 parents with a child diagnosed with Asperger syndrome and 43 parents with a child with learning disability, which were compared to 45 parents of children without disabilities as a control group. Parents completed the Family Environment Scale and Social Support Scale questionnaires. The comparison revealed significant differences for expressiveness and family system organization and for social support. Parents with an Asperger child perceived their family's expressive feelings as lower and the family organization as higher, and perceived their friendships and other support as lower than the other groups of parent. Parents of the control group reported the highest family support. The study highlighted the need for additional social support for parents with a child with special needs, and accentuated the importance of developing awareness and intervention programs to facilitate parents' coping abilities and their family interactions.

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