Evaluation Of The Autism Knowledge in Parents of the Children Aged Under 6 Years
Introduction and Aim: Social awareness is important to recognize the behaviors of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at an early stage. The aim of this study is to measure the ASD knowledge levels and to evaluate the autism awareness of the parents who applied to an university hospital’s pediatric outpatient clinic for their children aged under 6 years.
Methods: This descriptive study is conducted with 110 parents between 18-22 February 2019. The used questionnaire had 43 questions; first 5 questions were about sociodemographic information, questions between 6-38 were about definition and symptoms of autism, questions between 39-43 were about the thoughts of parents about the role of a person with ASD in society. The tenth question was about the sources of information on ASD. The questions that used to measure the knowledge level of ASD were inspired by the developmental tests used in children and the questionnaires used in previous studies on this subject. Collected data was analysed with multiple Chi-Square test. p values less than 0,05 was considered as statistically significant.
Results: Of the participants 69,1% (n= 76) were women and the mean age was 34,8 ± 7,2. Of the participants 92,7% (n= 102) have heard the word autism before. Age, gender and education level did not have a significant effect on hearing the word autism. The rate of the correct definition of autism was significantly higher in participants below thirty-five years of age and those who had a higher education level (p= 0,014; p= 0,007).
Discussion and Conclusion: Since the media / television / internet constitute most of the information sources about autism, the role of these channels is important to increase the ASD knowledge level and ASD awareness in the society. The rate of the correct definition of autism is higher in participants with a higher level of education similar to this study. It is considered that educational studies for autism will yield positive results, since the ASD awareness rate was higher in participants with higher level of education.
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