Psychological service needs of parents in the management of ASD

Psychological service needs of parents in the management of ASD

Mou Juliet Rebeiro1, S M Abul Kalam Azad2*, Abu Yusuf Mahmud3

1Masters Student, Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Dhaka 2Associate Professor, Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Dhaka 3Assistant Professor of Psychology, Directorate of Secondary and Higher Education, Bangladesh

ABSTRACT: Background: Management of behavioral and emotional problems of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) is a great concern for parents in a resource-poor country like Bangladesh. Parents’ needs from professionals are very crucial in designing and delivering psychological service for this. Objective: This study was aimed to find out psychological service needs of the parents of children (4-12 years old) with ASD. Materials and Methods: A total of 27 parents who were the primary caregivers of the autistic children participated in the study during 2016. All the participants were selected from a school for special children in Dhaka. Permission from the respective authority was obtained and informed consent was taken from all the participants prior to data collection. Parents’ responses were collected through interviews and severity of anxiety and depression of parents were determined using valid psychometric tools. Obtained quantitative data were analyzed using SPSS, version 20. and qualitative data were analyzed according to categorization of themes. Results: 84.60% of the parents of younger children (4-6 years old) and 64.30% parents of the older children (7-12 years old) with ASD suffered from mild to profound levels of anxiety. The study also revealed that 84.60% of the parents of younger children and 78.60% parents of the older children (7-12 years old) with ASD suffered from mild to severe levels of depression. Parents of these children reported behavioral, communication, social and cognitive disturbances shown by the children with ASD. Most of the parents (46.2% parents of 4-6 years old children and 42.9% parents of 7-12 years old children with ASD) reported the need for psychological service over other services. Conclusion: Despite receiving service from a special school for children with ASD, psychological services for both parents and children are critically needed for better care and management.

KEYWORDS: Keywords: Autism, psychological service, parenting

CORRESPONDENCE: S M Abul Kalam Azad