Teresa Ulman is a doctoral student in clinical psychology at Vanderbilt University, and she is also the older sister of a young man with autism. She wrote to me recently to tell me about her dissertation:
My dissertation study seeks to learn more about the positive growth in mothers and fathers of a child with a developmental disability. Having lived in a family with autism, I was struck by how the family research almost exclusively focused on all the horrible, terrible outcomes for families once a child with autism was introduced into the mix. My little project is hopefully a step forward in breaking the myth that a family touched by autism and other developmental disabilities is all doom and gloom.
I was intrigued and I followed the link to Teresa's survey, but was disappointed to learn that I was not able to participate because, for research reasons, she has had to limit the scope of participation. But I am happy to do my part to help by passing the information on to the rest of you, as I know that many of you will have valuable thoughts to share. In order to participate in the survey, you must be a parent of a child or adult between the ages of 8 and 25 with a diagnosis of one (and only one) of the following: Angelman syndrome, autism (not PDD-NOS or Asperger’s syndrome), Down syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, or Williams syndrome. (Because Bud's diagnosis is PDD-NOS, we were out of the running.)
If you fit the description and are willing to participate, I urge you to follow this link to Teresa's study and let her know about all the good stuff in your life.