Posted by: ACFE Inc | June 17, 2011

Are you a mom of a child with autism?

My friend Liz McCaffrey is a doctoral student in the Psy.D. program at Chestnut Hill College. She is looking for mothers with children (4-10 years old) on the spectrum to volunteer for a research study she is doing regarding their experience with their child’s diagnosis.

Here is what she writes:


“The focus of my study is the maternal experience of having a child diagnosed with autistic disorder.  My work as a school psychologist planted the seed for this research.  Working with mothers and children in early intervention I encountered mothers who had expressed concerns to their pediatrician about their child’s behavior/development, but were dismissed.  Despite being dismissed, mothers continued to seek answers to explain their children’s behavior.

I think mothers are a valuable untapped resource in the early diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders.  I hope that this study opens a dialog between clinicians, pediatricians,  and mothers.  The insights mothers have about their children can encourage pediatricians and other professionals to employ developmental surveillance with mothers and children.”

The study involves a one-on-one interview, which will take between 1.5-2 hours, covering the time from when the mother was first concerned about the possibility to when their child was finally diagnosed. Mothers who are pregnant or think they might be pregnant are excluded from this study. All information shared is confidential and identified only by number. The interviews will be audio taped.

Liz is asking for interviews to be conducted by July 15 and can travel throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and New York City. If you have a child diagnosed with autistic disorder and would like to participate please email Liz at or call her on her private cell phone at 610-608-4009. If you contact her but choose not to participate, that information will also be confidential.


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