Behaviors of Adults with ASD are Strongest Predictor of Caregiver Burden

New Research is First to Study Functioning Levels Related to Caregiver Fatigue

Researchers from Eastern Michigan University surveyed 320 parents of adults with autism to investigate their daily caregiving duties as it relates to caregiver stress. Parents included in this research were over the age of 50, about the time many caregivers realize the weight of their supervision responsibilities. Predictably, the study found that the severity of the adult’s autism and their ability to manage daily living skills are directly linked to caregiver burden. This research was the first to examine functioning levels and daily abilities of adults with autism and how these levels and abilities affect caregivers. Previous related research only looked at caregiving for children. Disruptive behaviors were viewed as the most challenging part of caring for an adult with autism. The inability to manage basic living activities like bathing and dressing were also viewed as very taxing. Additionally, instrumental daily activities such as supervising money management and shopping for groceries were also predictors of caregiver burden. To alleviate caregiver burden as much as possible, the research team concluded that professionals should develop behavioral support programs for adults on the spectrum to assist their aging parents.

Original Article

Study Abstract

 

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