Topics: Autism, Asperger syndrome, Pervasive developmental disorder Pages: 11 (2851 words) Published: August 20, 2012

Psychoeducational Group Paper
"Holding Hands Parent Support Groups for Children with Special Needs" Ziba Nassab
Argosy University
Group Counseling
Ozzie Dean Ph.D
July 12, 2010

Psychoeducational Group Paper
"Holding Hands Parent Support Groups for Children with Special Needs" Introduction:
Having a child with special needs can cause great emotional, financial, and physical strain on the entire family unit. Many families impacted, struggle with relationships, time management, self care, and how to navigate the system in order to obtain services for their child, and family. The purpose of this psychoeducational support group is to educate, empower and give the family the skills they need in order to better understand the diagnosis, the system, and the importance of taking care of themselves. Therefore a nine week psychoeducational group was created for parents of children with special needs

This proposal analyzed 52 anonymous surveys that parents of children with developmental delays completed over a one-week period regarding their concerns about their child’s diagnosis, family life style, marital/romantic relationships, finances, and emotions. From their responses, the author created a 9-week Parent Support Group program consisting of 45 minutes of psychoeducation and 1 hour of process on a weekly basis. This 9-week program will consist of: Week 1Introductions – informed consent forms – HIPPA (confidentiality) Week 2Self-Care

Week 3Time Management
Week 4 Services Available Through Regional Center and LAUSD Week 5Explaining Diagnoses and Prognoses
Week 6Anxiety, Stress, and Depression
Week 7Marital / Romantic Relationships
Week 8Finances
Week 9Termination

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a childhood developmental disorder diagnosed at age 3. The features of this disorder are impaired development in social interaction, communication, and restricted repertoire of activity and interests (DSM-IV-TR, p. 70). One percent of the U.S. population aged 3 – 17 have been diagnosed with ASD and ASD is currently the fastest-growing developmental disability (Autism Society). The prevalence of ASD is estimated at 1 in 110 births with 1 to 1.5 million Americans currently diagnosed with ASD and estimated at $60 billion annual cost (Autism Society). The National Autism Association quotes the divorce rate for parents of children with ASD to be as high as 80 percent and launched a program called The Family First Program in 2007 to combat this high divorce rate (McIlwain & Fournier, 2007).

Dunn, Burbine, Bowers, and Tantleff-Dunn (2001) examined the relationship between stressors, social support, locus of control, coping styles, and negative outcomes such as depression among parents of children with ASD. They found that the relationship between stressors and negative outcomes was moderated by social support and coping style. In addition, Luther, Canham, and Cureton (2005) found that acquiring social support and reframing were the most frequently used coping strategies of parents of children with ASD.

Banach, Ludice, Conway, and Couse (2010) measured the effects of a six-session, co-facilitated support group on the advocacy skills and self-efficacy of parents coping with a child’s diagnosis and found significant increases in mean scores for the three subscales of the Family Empowerment Scale. Data Collection:

The Holding Hands front desk distributed a confidential survey to parents of children currently receiving services and other developmental delays for a 1-week period. The survey was available in English and Spanish. A total of 52 parents completed and submitted the survey. The following demographic information is based on these 52 parents. Table 1 – Categorical Demographic Information

|Demographic | |N |Percentage | |Marital...
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