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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 51  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 107-112

Understanding parents' difficulties in executing activities of daily living of children with autism spectrum disorder: A qualitative descriptive study

1 Department of Occupational Therapy in Paediatrics, Goa Medical College, Bambolim, Goa, India
2 Department of Occupational Therapy in Orthopaedic Surgery, Goa Medical College, Bambolim, Goa, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Siddhi Jaikrishna Naik
Goa Medical College, Bambolim, Tiswadi, Goa
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijoth.ijoth_22_19

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Background: Activities of daily living (ADLs) refer to the ongoing behaviors that occur on a daily basis. Such behaviors include eating, cooking, bathing, social interactions (such as leisure activities, attending school or work, or assisting with chores), and other activities that one might routinely expect an individual to perform or participate in. Some of the major ADL tasks include personal hygiene, toileting, dressing, and eating. Researchers have documented delayed self-care performance in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Parents report their child to have difficulties with feeding and toileting in particular. Objective: This qualitative pilot study endeavored to understand the difficulties faced by the parents of children with ASD in conducting their children's ADL. Study Design: Qualitative descriptive study was chosen for the research. Methods: The qualitative descriptive study included participants (n = 20) whose children were primarily diagnosed as ASD. Convenient sampling method was used for study sample calculation. The study included parents of children of age group between 5 and 9 years (mean ± standard deviation [SD]: 6.9 ± 1.57 months) with intelligence quotient of ≥80%. The study was conducted in a tertiary care hospital. The parents (fathers = 9 and mothers = 11) were given a semistructured questionnaire to understand difficulties faced by the parents of children with ASD (mean ± SD: 5.56 ± 33.6 months). Results: According to the study, it was observed that most of the parents have reported that their child had maximum difficulties in eating, followed by brushing and grooming and least for toileting. This study also found the priority list of difficulties in ADL. It was noted that early and proper training of the child gives good results in managing a child with ASD. Many parents reported that early training is beneficial. Conclusion: The outcome of this study shows the hierarchy of difficulties in ADL reported by the parents of children with ASD. This study also found that early ADL training gives good results in managing child with ASD.

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