Factors which enhance or hinder meeting the educational needs of autistic children in Western Cape province, South Africa: A parents’ perspective
Mithimunye, Bronwyn Sarah
Roman, Nicolette V.
Pedro, Athena Shelia
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There is growing interest in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as a result of the increasing prevalence rates, and because children with ASD find it particularly challenging to enter the educational system. The present study explored the perceptions of parents of ASD children by identifying the factors which enhanced or hindered their children in receiving quality education. Four focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted with 10 purposively selected participants per discussion group. A semi-structured interview guide was used to collect data. Data were analysed using ATLAS.ti. The key themes which evolved were: developmental and educational awareness and support (enhancement); the education system (hindrance); developing the capacities of teachers with specialised training (hindrance); and financial needs (hindrance). The present study recognizes that there are enhancements and hindrances that affect children with ASD and their educational development.