Family Experience of Safe: A New Intervention for Families of Children with a Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder
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Systemic Autism-related Family Enabling (SAFE) is a new intervention for families of children with a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). SAFE responds to international and national recommendations for improved care and the reported needs of families. SAFE draws from Family Therapy techniques, Attachment Narrative Therapy and known preferences of individuals with autism. Twenty two families of a child with a diagnosis of ASD severity level 1 or 2 were recruited. The families attended five 3-hour sessions. Family members completed the Helpful Aspects of Therapy Questionnaire (HAT) after each session. Analysis of the HAT data revealed that adults and children experienced SAFE to be helpful which was elaborated in terms of the following themes: therapist as helping reflection, increased understanding, feeling closer, more confident to reflect and problem solve, improved communication and feeling less alone and isolated. The findings are discussed to consider how SAFE can be improved and implemented to offer support for families. SAFE is a good candidate to fill a gap in autism related care.
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