A qualitative research about autism friendly house environment
Introduction and Objectives: A qualitative research about problems children with autism have in their home enviroment, changes to combat these problems, and their outcomes.
Materials and Method: The research was conducted at a rehabilitation center in Kartal District of İstanbul. 8 parents accepted to attend. Data was collected through indepth interviews with semistructured questionnaire to find out demographic characteristics of the families of children having autism, difficulties that children experience in home environment, changes as to how parents overcome these difficulties, and their outcomes. Interviews were conducted in an environment provided by the facility. Each interview took 25-30 minutes and was recorded with a mobile device. All recordings were listened by the researchers twice and converted into a text, then each text was coded by two separate researchers independently. After the coding, thematic analysis was made.
Findings: Participants (n=8) consist of parents of children with autism between ages 4-14. Mean age of diagnosis is approximately 2 years 3 months. Most of the children have mild autism (n=7). Parents haven’t made any changes regarding home environment and structure. All participants live with their small families in apartment buildings and they have gardens available. Although crises (temper tantrums) are not frequent, child safety was tried to be achieved. Parents have used educational toys and materials to create an educational environment at home. Parents also took safety measures similar to children without autism. Primary precautions are locking dangerous areas like kitchen, securing the windows and getting rid of sharp edged furniture. Parents think children are safe at home. Repetitive accidents have been reported.
Conclusion: Safety and education are determinants of leading changes made in home environments of children with autism. The main target is not to change physical factors which bother the children such as lighting and noise, instead let the child face them and adapt to these factors as part of sensory integration therapy.
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