The Process of Autism Diagnosis and Access to Services: Zeibabwean and Ethiopian Parents 'view

Poster Presentation
Saturday, May 4, 2019: 11:30 AM-1:30 PM
Room: 710 (Palais des congres de Montreal)
W. A. Zeleke1 and M. Chitiyo2, (1)Counseling, Psychology and Special Education, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, (2)Counseling Psychology and Special Education, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA
Background: The number of children diagnosed with autism around the world is increasing. Unlike a few years ago, more about the disorder is known today, which facilitate the improvement of outcomes of the many children diagnosed with the disorder. However most of what is documented about autism today is based on researcher from the Western world. Limited research has been conducted about children with autism and their families in other part of the world, particularly Africa

Objectives: This presentation aims to address parents view and experience on their journey in getting diagnosis and accessing service for their children with autism in Ethiopia and Zimbabwe , the two African countries.

Methods: Using purposive sampling ,10 parents (five from each country) of children with autism were interviewed. A semi-structured in-depth interview is used to collect data. Data were analyzed using systematic content analysis.

Results: The result indicated that parents viewed the process of diagnosis as difficult and at times in accurate. They also identified several challenges including social stigma, strained family relationship, and lac of access to appropriate services.

Conclusions: Based on the results of this study it is recommended that parents and service provider of children with autism should be educated about child development and autism promote efficient diagnosis. It is also recommended that service provider working with children with autism should collaborate with the parents in order to improve the treatment outcomes of children.