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Challenges and adjustments of mothers having children with autism
Tarek E.I Omar, Wafaa M Ahmed, Nehad S Basiouny
September-December 2017, 30(3):120-129
Children with autism and their families especially their mothers face numerous and pervasive challenges. In addition to the expected concerns with behavior, communication, and morbidities, mothers expressed deep apprehension about their child’s isolation and meaningful integration into daily life. Difficulties to access a quality care, financial burden, issues of adulthood, and their child’s challenging behaviors may produce significant stressors to mothers. Healthcare providers should take these challenges into consideration when providing care to those children and their mothers.
The aim of this study was to assess the challenges and adjustments of mothers having children with autism.
Patients and methods
A convenient sample of 76 mothers who have children with autism represented the participants. They were recruited from the Neurological Outpatient Clinic of Alexandria University Specialized Children’s Hospital at Smouha, Egypt. Three tools were used to collect the data as: (i) Mothers’ Sociodemographic Data Interview Schedule, (b) Stressors of Mothers who have Children with Autism Interview Schedule 3. Parent and Family Adjustment Scale.
Overall, 71.4% of the mothers who were in the age 40 to <50 years had moderate stressors percent score. More than half of mothers sometimes had feelings of anger and nervousness. Furthermore, they had anhedonia and were unable to do anything alone. There was a statistically significant difference between mothers’ total percent score of stressors and their adjustment regarding psychological, social, and management-related stressors.
Mothers who have children with autism were confronted with multiple stressors. The most perceived stressors were physical, psychological, financial, community-related, and management-related stressors followed by social and marital stressors. Adjustment pattern were affected by various factors, such as mother’s age, social support, and family income related to employment of mothers.
Regular periodic meetings should be conducted between mothers and hospital personnel to promote proper communication.
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