Caregivers of Children with Autism Are Better, Despite Their Poorer Memory, Completing Tasks of Daily Living

Brian Lovell*, Mark Wetherell

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Familial caregivers typically have more trouble completing fundamental tasks of daily living compared with non-caregivers. The ability to complete tasks of daily living relies on prospective memory (PM). PM, however, is typically poorer in familial caregivers. It would make sense, therefore, that poorer PM would mediate caregivers’ greater difficulties completing tasks of daily living. This was explored here. A sample of n=500 participants (196 caregivers of autistic children and 304 parents of non-autistic children) completed a questionnaire assessing PM failures. An abbreviated version of the Everyday Problems Test (EPT) was used to measure participants’ ability to complete tasks of daily living such as managing medications and paying bills. Caregivers reported more PM failures. EPT scores were lower in caregivers, reflecting fewer problems completing tasks of daily living. PM failures were unrelated to EPT scores, ruling out mediation. Caregivers of autistic children were better at completing basic tasks of daily living despite their poorer PM. Whether quality of life for the autistic child might be related to caregivers’ ability to complete tasks of daily living should be the focus of future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Disability, Development and Education
Early online date3 Jun 2024
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Jun 2024

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