“My name is Elizabeth Apkin and I am completing my doctoral degree in clinical psychology at William James College. I am looking for people to participate in a research project on emerging adults’ experiences of having an older sibling with high functioning autism (HFA), or Asperger’s syndrome. As emerging adulthood is a developmental phase in 18-29 year olds typically characterized by identity exploration and role experimentation, this study aims to explore if and how young adults incorporate their sibling with HFA/AS in to their identities and their conceptualizations of their futures. This study is also interested in learning how the sibling relationship has evolved as the siblings have grown older. Ultimately, the purpose of this study is to discover shared or unique experiences of young adults who have an older sibling with HFA/AS, and to uncover any common themes that arise from participants’ accounts of their sibling relationship during this pertinent developmental phase.
I am seeking out individuals aged 18-29 who have an older sibling with HFA or Asperger’s syndrome. The age range between the participant and their older sibling should be no greater than six years. The participant themselves should not carry an autism spectrum diagnosis.
Participation involves a one-on-one interview via Skype with the researcher that will last approximately 45-60 minutes, and they will receive a $25 Amazon gift card in exchange for their time. The interview can be scheduled at a time most convenient for the participant and the researcher.
I am hopeful that with your assistance I will be able to shine some light on a population that has been largely neglected in the research, but could benefit from additional support. With your help I hope to gain a better understanding of how young adults navigate emerging adulthood with an older sibling who has HFA/AS.
Thank you for your time and consideration in sharing this study with your program and others who may be eligible for participation. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns at Elizabeth_apkin@ williamjames.edu or 413-281-0819.”