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Original Article

JRCRS. 2013; 1(1): 21-27

Psychological Well-Being and Parental Concern of Children with Autism

Nayab Iftikhar, Ayesha Kamal Butt.

Background: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a disability that affects three main areas, communication skills, social interaction and behavior patterns. It has been observed that parents of the children with ASD suffer more stress than parents of a child with any other disability and it increases the negative psychological outcomes on parents especially on mothers. Children and families living with ASD face many social, economic and emotional challenges.
Objectives: The current study tried to explore the indicators of stress levels within ASD families, as well as to examine the effects and to what extent, with a child with ASD has on the family. The present study offers quantitative research method in an attempt to obtain a complete origin of stress, depression and fear in parents of children with autism & the consequences for the family.
Methodology: This cross sectional survey has been used to measure the psychological well-being and parental concerns of children aged between 24 months to 10 years diagnosed with ASD as per DSM IV (diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV) were recruited. Samples were drawn through purposive sampling technique. Forty children of different institutes of special needs were selected as sample population. The parental concerns of children with autism were measured through a self developed questionnaire and another questionnaire DASS (Depression, Stress and anxiety scale) is used to measure the level of depression, stress and anxiety among parents of children with autism.
Results: The findings of the present study show that the parents of ASD children had increased level of stress, anxiety & depression measured by DASS. The key indicators were assumed to be financial constraints, lack of facilities, and lack of professionals, family pressure and social acceptance.
Conclusion: The mothers of the children on autism spectrum are more depressed, anxious and stressed due to financial constraints, lack of facilities, lack of professionals, social and family pressure as compared to the fathers of children on autism spectrum.

Key words: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Disability Psychological Well-being, Depression, Anxiety, Stress, Cross Sectional (JRCRS 2013; 1(1): 21-27

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