Assessing the Quality of Life of the Families Raising Children with Autism as a Tool for Social Work

Olha Stoliaryk

Abstract

The analysis of scientific research of the last decade points to the actual place of the question of an individual’s quality of life in the context of social change. An important place is given to the study of the new construct “the quality of life of a family”. This term was first proposed in the context of research into assessing the quality of life of families through the lens of disability of one individual member, including a child with autism. And if the theoretical concepts of the quality of life of a family raising a child with an autism spectrum disorder are consistent, then the methodology for assessing the quality of life differs in its mechanisms and tools. The study examines approaches to formulating the methodology of assessment of the family’s quality of life, such as the HQOFL, and the main tools used by researchers in their scientific work. The analysis of diagnostic methods, used by modern social work in providing an assessment of the quality of life of a family, raising a child with autism has been carried out, the specific mechanism of forming a methodology based on the aims and specific purpose of assessment of the quality of life has been identified. The author of the study suggests dividing the method of assessing family’s quality of life into basic ones that explore the very construct of family quality of life (FQOL, FQOLS, WHOQOL-BREF, FFCS), and auxiliary or “targeted” tools that can be objective and subjective, and measure factors that directly or indirectly affect the quality of life assessment, such as PCA grade, socio-demographic indicators, stress, personal crisis assessment, family inventory, family functionality (ASSQ, SDQ, PSSA, CARS, SF-12, SF-36, FCOPE, PSI-SF, PSSA, FCOPE, WCC-R, FIRM). A new tool for assessing the quality of life of a family raising a child with autism spectrum disorder, adapted to Ukrainian realities, is also proposed.



Keywords


family quality of life; autism; autism spectrum disorder; PCA; methodology for assessing family quality of life



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