Development and Pilot of the Caregiver Strategies Inventory

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Abstract

Children with autism spectrum disorder often demonstrate unusual behavioral responses to sensory stimuli (i.e., sensory features). To manage everyday activities, caregivers may implement strategies to address these features during family routines. However, investigation of specific strategies used by caregivers is limited by the lack of empirically developed measures. In this study, we describe the development and pilot results of the Caregiver Strategies Inventory (CSI), a supplement to the Sensory Experiences Questionnaire Version 3.0 (SEQ 3.0; Baranek, 2009) that measures caregivers’ strategies in response to their children’s sensory features. Three conceptually derived and empirically grounded strategy types were tested: cognitive–behavioral, sensory–perceptual, and avoidance. Results indicated that the CSI demonstrated good internal consistency and that strategy use was related to child age and cognition. Moreover, parent feedback after completing the CSI supported its utility and social validity. The CSI may be used alongside the SEQ 3.0 to facilitate a family-centered approach to assessment and intervention planning.

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