This mixed-method study investigated the use of a bibliotherapy intervention that was designed specifically for preteen siblings of children with autism. Bibliotherapy is a facilitated method in which books related to participants' issues are used in order to help develop their insight about circumstances they share. Approximately one million siblings of children with autism have unique life circumstances that only those with similar lives can understand. Siblings, an intricate part of the dynamic family system, are often excluded from social services that are available to parents and children with autism. Siblings of children with autism can benefit from support, too; however, intervention research that investigates the effectiveness of supporting siblings of children with autism is limited.
The purposes of this study were to measure the effectiveness of a bibliotherapy intervention and to examine whether participants progressed through the three stages of bibliotherapy, increased their knowledge of autism, and whether interactions with their family members changed as a result of engaging in bibliotherapy sessions. Six participants, male and female, attended six bibliotherapy sessions. The book Rules (Lord, 2006) was the catalyst for the sibling discussion and activities that were a part of each bibliotherapy session. Pre and post surveys, sibling comments expressed during the bibliotherapy sessions, and sibling journal entries were used to collect data. The data were then analyzed using the Page Test for Ordered Alternatives and the Wilcoxon Signed-Ranks test (WSR). Results indicated statistically significant outcomes for increasing autism knowledge and nonstatistically significant results for progressing through the three stages of bibliotherapy and changes in family interactions. However, parents reported that the participant siblings demonstrated an increase in understanding and patience for their brothers with autism, and the siblings reported overall satisfaction with the bibliotherapy intervention. Results, implications, and recommendations for future research are provided.
|Advisor:||Laarhoven, Toni Van, Conderman, Greg|
|Commitee:||Hedin, Laura, Johnson, Jesse|
|School:||Northern Illinois University|
|Department:||Teaching and Learning|
|School Location:||United States -- Illinois|
|Source:||DAI-A 72/08, Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Social work, Special education|
|Keywords:||Autism, Autism knowledge, Bibliotherapy, Siblings|
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