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Improved Quality of Life

Firefly’s supports to both the child (learner) and the family compounds with time to lead to an overall positive shift in the quality of life.  Quality of life scores grew by 16 points (a 28% increase) over the course of the year and grew five points (an 8.3% increase) as tenure increases from one or fewer years to five or more years.

Parent and Child Progress

Parents have reported improvements in their parenting skills, with an impressive 85% reporting increased abilities the longer they are engaged with Firefly. 81.9% of parents saw their child make progress over the past six months. Within the first year of working with Firefly, 75.3% of families have successfully created regular routines and enjoy activities together.

Parental Confidence

Among families with the highest tenure (five or more years) almost all (87.5%) strongly agreed that they knew how to assist their children whereas only three-quarters of those with one or fewer years tenure felt similarly.  Parents also report a better ability to use their parenting skills (compared to having knowledge they cannot apply), rising from 71.4% among those with one or fewer years’ tenure to 85.0% for those with five or more years’ tenure.  Considering the diversity in needs and skills among individuals with autism, Firefly’s assistance helped families increase these skills rather than contribute to a cycle of frustration many parents of neurodivergent children feel when they cannot understand how to help their children

Reduced Parental Burnout

Firefly parents report lower parental burnout levels (score of 44.3) than the average US parent (66.0% report feeling burnt-out) and other parents of children with autism (58.0% of mothers and 69.3% of fathers.

Burnout Contributors

Page 9 of the report shows how Firefly parents sleep, relax and work for pay less, while spending much more time caring for others, which may contribute to burnout. Interestingly, Firefly parents currently also spend an additional 6.4 hours on average preparing food compared to their peers.  According to the researchers, this is potentially due to food sensitivities and texture aversions common among neurodivergent children that make eating out or relying on conveniences and cooking shortcuts less available to Firefly parents (Alibrandi et al., 2023). We hope to see decreases in food aversions and sensitivities as we work with our learners this coming year in our Earl Lee Evans Garden.

Interested in more impact?
Read our full impact report.

Firefly’s Impact Report