Autism context of the family. (Mirsalimi H, Perleberg

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are lifelong
neurodevelopmental disorders, and little is known about how parents address the
health and psychosocial consequences of ASD. Parenting is an important part of
loving and caring for the child. Several authors (compare Louw et al. 1998;
Pretorius, 2000) agree that parents as primary caregivers are the most
important socialization agents in a child’s life. The quality of parenting can
be essential that the quantity of time spent with the child. In psychology
today, there are four major recognized parenting styles: authoritarian,
authoritative, permissive and uninvolved parents. Parents teach children by
telling them what to do and what not to do, as well as being models for
children to imitate and to identify with. 
To be an effective parent means ensuring the physical well-being of a
child, stimulating the child’s intellectual development, encouraging socially
acceptable and responsible behavior, providing emotional security and giving
moral and spiritual direction (Gerdes, 1998). Bornstein (1991) states:
“Parenting manifestly influences the course and outcome of children’s
cognitive and communicative achievements as well as their social and emotional


Parenting is about providing a warm, secure home life,
helping the child to learn the rules of life (for example, how to share,
respecting others, etc.) and to develop good self-esteem. A child may have to
be stopped from doing things they shouldn’t be doing, but it is just as
important to encourage them to do the things a parent wants them to do (Royal
College of Psychiatrists, 2004). The family systems approach is based on the
notion that an individual’s behavior should be viewed and addressed within the
context of the family. (Mirsalimi H, Perleberg SH, Stoval E, Kaslow NJ. 2003)
The family undergoes changes and development over time, through which they are
able to achieve a state of homeostasis.(McLead J. 2003) Children with ASD are
faced with developmental challenges that affect parental and family functioning,
resulting in



significant stress for all family members.(Roa PA,
Beidel DC. 2009). Parents and family members are the main communication
partners of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder ASD. It can be very challenging for parents to manage and understanding
of the child’s behavior ASD. Caring for children with ASD can be demanding and
expensive. Although early behavioral intervention can improve outcomes for some
children with ASD, response to treatment varies widely, and it is not yet known
which children benefit from which treatments. Several studies report that for
parents of children with ASD’s, life proves more difficult and frustrating than
for parents of children with a long-term illness or development disability
(Bouma and Schweitzer,1990; Koegel and Schreibman,1992; Randall and


Parents may
experience increases in stress, depression, anxiety, financial difficulties or
relationship problems as well as decreases in self-competence and
self-confidence (Fitzgerald et. Al. 2000; Symon,2001). This may be caused or
exacerbated by a combination of factors including an overall lack of
information. When individuals access unhelpful information, this may frustrate
them even further (Nicholas and Marden,1997).