Title: Maternal involvement in the education of young children with autism spectrum disorders.
Source: Autism 2008; 12; 47
Study Authors: Paul Benson Kristie L. Karlof Gary N. Siperstein At the University of Massachusetts

The authors of this elegant study asked a very simple but neglected question? What are the factors that contribute to mothers’ level of involvement in the education of their children with ASD? The authors conducted interviews and surveys with 95 mothers, teachers, and children, and found that mothers educational involvement (both at school and at home) increased significantly if the school actively encouraged this involvement. This suggests that the schools have an important role in promoting educational involvement amongst mothers. Unfortunately a paradoxical but common finding was noted. Mothers of children who had more disruptive behavior problems also reported much lower levels of involvement in their children’s education. Is this because the high levels of behavior problems discourage mothers from becoming more involved (“I give up”)? That is the most likely explanation provided by the researchers. They argue that mothers with kids who have severe behavioral problems are simply too overwhelmed to become more involved in the child’s education. One mother stated “Once he’s home, I have to watch him continually just to keep him and his younger sister safe . . . It’s exhausting. I simply can’t deal with anything else.’

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