Conference proceedings article

Societal support and health in parents of children with autism spectrum disorders : Poster presented at the 7th International Congress Autism-Europe Lisboa 2003

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Subtitle: Poster presented at the 7th International Congress Autism-Europe Lisboa 2003

Author list: Åkerström, Bengt

Publication year: 2003


Abstract

The strain of having a child with a disability, especially an autism spectrum disorder, can be lessened or worsened due to the quality and co-ordination of support from society. By order of the County Council, the local authorities and the Social Insurance Office, the present study aimed at investigating two main questions. First, the forms of support available for children with disabilities and parents perception of its function and quality. Second, the parents experience of their own health related to observations of elevated frequencies of long-term sick leave in parents of disabled children. The study, designed in co-operation with the local societies for children with disabilities, was conducted in the County of Jämtland, Sweden, during the year 2002. A questionnaire was mailed to parents of all children registered in child habilitation services, children in schooling for the mentally retarded and children with only visual or hearing disability or diabetes, covering a total of about 800 children including 120 with autism spectrum disorders. The questionnaire consisted of two parts, a) questions covering different forms of support including schooling and expert treatment for the child, b) a standardised health form (SF 36) to be completed by the parents of the child. The presentation will focus on the perception of support and experienced health in parents by comparing the situation for children with autism spectrum disorders to the rest of the sample including a discussion of improvements that could be made as a result of the study.


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