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Seeking input from parents of children with autism about experiences of support

Seeking input from parents of children with autism about experiences of support

A York University study is looking to hear from parents of children with autism about the kinds of social support they receive and want. We know that social support can be immensely helpful for families, and the research shows a link between good support and lower levels of stress, anxiety, and burden. This support may come from friends, family, co-workers, neighbours or formal services like the ones provided by St.Amant.

While we know social support is helpful, we still have questions and there are gaps in the research. We know very little about the factors that can help promote social support for parents. Who receives solid social support? Who is at risk of being isolated or disconnected from a social support network? How can we foster these social connections?

This study aims to answer these questions. This work is led by Suzanne Robinson, a doctoral student in the clinical-developmental psychology program at York University, along with her supervisor, Dr. Jonathan Weiss.

What does this study involve?

Parents can participate by completing an online questionnaire (paper copies are also available). This questionnaire takes about 30 minutes to complete. Parents are also invited to complete shorter follow-up questionnaires 6 and 12 months later if they are interested. Participating parents are entered in a raffle for $50 gift certificates, as thanks.

Who can participate?

Any parent of a school-aged child with a diagnosis of autism, living in Canada. The person with autism needs to currently be between 5 and 18 years of age.

Participation is absolutely voluntary and your decision to not participate will not influence your relationship with the researchers, York University, or St. Amant. This research has been reviewed and approved by St.Amant’s Research Ethics Board, and York University’s Ethics Review Board, and conforms to the standards of the Canadian Tri-Council Research Ethics guidelines.

If you have any questions or would prefer a paper copy of the survey, please contact Suzanne Robinson at srobinso@yorku.ca or 416-736-2100 ext. 44032. You can see more work being done by this research lab by visiting their websites at http://ddmh.lab.yorku.ca/ and http://asdmentalhealth.ca/.

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