Views of the Parents of Autistic Children about Autism and Schools for Autistic Children: A Qualitative Study in Urban Bangladesh
Introduction: Autism is a global burden of disease and priority public health issue. It affects the neurodevelopment of children which causes social impairment, communication difficulties and restrictive, repetitive challenging behaviors. Prevalence of Autism is much higher in Bangladesh compared to other developing countries. In many cases, late diagnosis has been identified as one of the major reasons for incurable autism. Parents are not much aware about the disease. Moreover, they barely know how to deal with their children suffering from autism and what schools are teaching to autistic children. This study explored views of the parents with autistic children on autism and schools in where their children go. Methods: A qualitative study was conducted. Parents were selected from five schools specialized for autistic children in urban Dhaka city, Bangladesh. In-depth interviews were conducted with the parents of the autistic children studying in those schools. Analysis was performed thematically. Results: Parents had a deficit in knowledge and understanding on autism disease, majority of them quoted autism as the “wills of God”. Most of the parents perceived that it’s happened because of them. Parents didn’t receive any formal training or orientation or any skills on how to deal with their autistic children at home. Schools for the autistic children provided counseling session for the parents of which the parents found that teachers holding inadequate knowledge and skills about treating autistic children. Conclusions: Parents have a lack of knowledge, skills and capacity to take care of their children. It, hence, is crucial for the parents to know in details the relevant knowledge through education, training, counseling and demonstration. Teachers need advance skills and knowledge to deal with autistic children and their parents as well. Thus, school going autistic children’s will get better care and quality of life, parents will be more confident to care of their children.
Autism, Children, Autistic School for Children, Urban, Bangladesh
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