This research deals with the effects that living with a sibling with Autism/PDD has. The aim of the research was to investigate the effect of living with a sibling with Autism/PDD by using play therapy methods. In order to achieve this goal the researcher undertook a literature study to provide a better insight into the dimensions and complexities of defining Autism/PDD and its related conditions, an in-depth look at the triad of impairments and the influence this has on the functioning of siblings of children with Autism/PDD. The second objective was to undertake an empirical study with regards to the influence of Autism/PDD on the functioning of these siblings. The third objective was to make recommendations to parents and people working in families with children with Autism/PDD that will enable them to respond to the needs of these siblings. The researcher made use of applied research. The data collection phase consisted of unstructured interviews, conducted in the form of a play process. The research question was the following: What is the effect of living with a sibling with Autism/PDD? Qualitative research was used in this study to enable the researcher to do a subjective exploration of reality as opposed to the outsider perspective of quantitative research. This study focused on the following aspects: helping, advocacy, awareness and a need for information, positive and negative feelings that the respondents experienced about their siblings, the effect on the child in middle childhood as well as family stresses. The researcher came to the conclusion that siblings of children with Autism/PDD experience both positive and negative feelings with regards to their brother/sister with Autism/PDD.
Dissertation (MSD (Play Therapy))--University of Pretoria, 2005.