Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Arts

Program

Psychology

Supervisor

Dr. Jason Brown

Abstract

Families who care for children with disabilities feel that supports are essential. However, little is known about the support needs of adults who live with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, and few specialized services exist to meet their needs. This study examined caregivers' perceived support needs for their children when they grow into adults. Sixteen caregivers of children aged 10 years or older with FASD participated in telephone interviews. Participants provided responses to the following two questions: “What do caregivers need to help young adults live as independently as possible?” and “What services would help young adults live as independently as possible?” All responses provided to the interview questions were independently grouped together by caregivers, and their grouping data was analyzed with multi-dimensional scaling and cluster analysis (Trochium, 1989). The first question focused on caregiver needs and resulted in a six-concept map including: 1) Structural Supports, 2) Practical Supports, 3) Caregiver Support, 4) Ideals, 5) Address Long-Term Development Concerns, and 6) Incorporation into Daily Living. The second question targeted service needs and resulted in a six-concept map including: 1) A Slider, 2) Ensuring a Future, 3) Help with the Adulthood Transition, 4) Financial Relief, 5) Encouraging Autonomy, and 6) Legal and Emotional Support. Findings were compared and contrasted with the literature.