My doctoral dissertation, entitled “Understanding Mealtimes on the Spectrum,” uses grounded theory to analyze observational and interview data from families of children with autism during mealtimes. It exemplifies my research philosophy and research program. The shared family meal is rich with experiences and interactions that can promote child well-being and family functioning, but unfortunately when mealtimes of children with autism are studied, the focus is almost exclusively on problematic behavior. My dissertation recontextualizes the mealtime experience for families of a child with autism as an opportunity for resilience. This method does not preclude addressing the needs and struggles of families, but rather could lead to effective programming that is both feasible to implement and meaningful for the family. Most family- implemented interventions have been adapted from clinical practices or educational settings and target goals established by experts. Although this approach has been successful in many instances, my aim is to develop programs for families through a close study of within-group variations in routines and strategies that parents naturally employ to achieve the needs of the family. This research will lead to a theory of how families build cohesiveness, connection, and shared understanding within the everyday patterns of family life which can then be practically applied.