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Funded Project

Examining Quality of Life in Families of Children with ASD: From Diagnosis to Adulthood

On April 5th 2013, The Psychology Department at Simon Fraser University held an important interactive session to discuss quality of life among families of adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

The focus was on parental responsibilities for these families, which are often very demanding and unrelenting, with no end in sight. They are the forgotten players in a social support system with many gaps.

There was a diverse expert panel present to explore what options exist considering the lack of resources for their adult children with chronic ASD issues and challenges. Members were:

  • Grace Iarocci – Associate Professor of Psychology, SFU
  • Emily Gardiner – Doctoral Candidate, SFU, responsible for the research
  • Anthony Bailey – Professor and Chair in Adolescent Psychiatry, UBC
  • Joseph Lucyshyn – Associate Professor of Special Education, UBC
  • Karen Bopp-Senior Behavioural Consultant – Ministry of Children and Family Development
  • Tamara Kulusic – Manager of Program and Policy Development, Community Living BC (CLBC)
  • Deborah Pugh – Executive Director Autism Community Training
  • Cathy Anthony – Director of The Family Support Institute (FSI)
  • Colin Tisshaw – The Laurel Foundation

This meeting’s sharing of information was an important initiative by Emily Gardiner, who is focusing her PhD studies on this issue, and Dr. Grace Iarocci, her clinical supervisor.

A free exchange took place, providing issues, problems and recommendations for incorporation in the doctoral research, and consideration by BC Ministries responsible for support services, community agencies , post secondary institutions and parent groups.

The Laurel Foundation provided the financial and organizational support for the event.

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