Caregiver/Family Stress

Typically in psychiatry drug development research, the focus is on the affected patient when considering the significance or seriousness of disorders or aspects of disorders.  For Autism, there is a “contagion” effect whereby the presence of Autism causes stress and subsequent potential for health problems in siblings and caregivers.  The stressors involved in caregiving for a child with Autism are unique and not comparable to caregiving in relation to other forms of childhood disability (Schieve et al., 2007).  Of the symptoms of Autism, repetitive behaviors are highly correlated to caregiver stress (Gabriels et al., 2005).