Siblings and friendships of children with autism spectrum disorders
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The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore how families of children with ASD, parents or caregivers, as well as siblings, perceive friendships and how they assist the child with ASD in navigating friendships. The study consisted of semi-structured interviews focused around the family, friendships, and strategies to assist the child with ASD with friendships. The findings exemplified characteristics of the friendships of the children with ASD, how siblings actively and passively assist in friendships, and how parents step out of their own comfort zones or their normal routine to find support and make socialization opportunities happen for their child with ASD. This information has important implications for individuals that support or work with children with ASD and their families.