Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Child Development



First Reader/Committee Chair

Kamptner, Laura


The purpose of this project was to create a research‑based sibling support group for 7 to 12 year‑old children who have a sibling with autism. Typically‑developing children (N = 3) and their parents attended a four‑week, once‑weekly sibling support group. The program focused on topics found to be the key issues of typically‑developing siblings who have a sibling with autism: discovering that others share similar family circumstances, learning about their sibling with autism’s special needs, discussing issues and problems children with siblings who have ASD typically face (and developing effective coping strategies to deal with these issues), and having an opportunity to express who they are as individuals. Pre‑and post‑ assessments showed that the group only slightly increased their knowledge about autism. Feedback from the children suggested that they especially enjoyed the opportunity to speak openly about their sibling with autism and having the opportunity to share activities and items that were important to them. The children reported that they did not enjoy having to complete worksheets related to information about autism spectrum disorder. Additionally, they did not understand the information that was presented about the programs and interventions that some children with ASD may use. Overall, the sibling support group provided an opportunity for children with a sibling with autism to share feelings and experiences about their sibling, including problems they face.