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Tech opens communication doors for grandparents of grandkids with ASD
Date:12/9/2012

ndparents found in the technology an interest that their grandkids could share with themeven though the adults did not uniformly share the kids' enthusiasm for using computers.

Wright explains that "this upward flow of teaching from grandchild to grandparent not only emphasized the child's new-found strengths and confidence around computer skills, it also strengthened their relationship with new opportunities for shared interests and communication."

Peer Support Breaks Down Barriers

In another finding, the iSTAR5 program provided grandparents with common ground to engage with others in similar situations. They shared their experiences, joys and concerns, some for the first time being able to express pride in their grandchild's accomplishments. Rather than focusing on ASD as limiting and disabling, the program provided positive interactions to build on.

"Another benefit of the grandparents' involvement in the workshops was that their own outlooks improved, along with their grandchild's," concludes Wright. "Importantly, those benefits also affect the attitudes and beliefs of other family members and potentially, the long-term outcomes for the child."

Related iSTAR5 research

Although the sample size in the current study was small and did not include non-participating grandparents, the study provides valuable insights into the technology workshops from a unique perspective. Other iSTAR5 research has been conducted and submitted for publication that further explores the grandparents' motivations and barriers to participation in lives of grandchildren with ASD, and to develop strategies that take advantage of improved intergenerational communication in families with children diagnosed with ASD.


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Contact: Scott Wright
scott.wright@hsc.utah.edu
801-585-5942
University of Utah
Source:Eurekalert  

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