Family Accommodation in Autism
Family accommodation refers to ways in which parents modify their behavior to alleviate their child's distress, which is associated with a disorder. In 2019, we published the first paper showing that such accommodation takes place in the context of autism, where parents accommodate their children's restricted and repetitive behaviors. Such accommodation is associated with increased symptom severity and decreased adaptive functioning. In another recent paper, we found that elevated family accommodation was predictive of disruptive behavior and associated with higher levels of parenting stress.
We are continuing to explore this construct in a number of directions and are currently working on:
Understanding broader clinical characteristics associated with family accommodation of RRBs (manuscript in preparation)
A mixed-methods study examining parents' experiences of family accommodation of RRBs (manuscript in preparation).
A pilot intervention study targeting family accommodation of anxiety symptoms in the context of autism (manuscript in preparation).
This intervention study utilizes the SPACE program, a parent-mediated intervention with significant empirical support in the context of anxiety disorders.