PARENTAL EXPERIENCES OF RAISING A CHILD WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER IN GHANA A case study research analysis
Sammanfattning: Aim: This study explores parental experiences of raising a child with Autism SpectrumDisorder (ASD) in Ghana. It investigates parental stress, stigma, access to educationfor children with ASD and coping strategies employed by parents to manage thesituation. This was necessitated by the prevalence rate of ASD globally and thelimited number of research available on this phenomenon in Ghana.Theory: The religious or magical model of disability proposed by Avoke (2002) and the socialmodel of disability proposed by Oliver (1996) were adapted to explore thisphenomenon in the Ghanaian society.Method: Informed by the interpretive paradigm of research, qualitative case study research wasused to closely investigate, explore and describe the identified research problem. In allfive parents were interviewed as major sources of data for the research. In addition,three heads of institutions were also interviewed to complement the data gatheredfrom parents about access to education. Further, field notes were taken, a researchdiary was kept and the legal policy regarding education for children and education forchildren with disabilities in Ghana were outlined to give a fair idea of what the legalframework proposed. The data was analyzed using thematic analysis.Results: It emerged that parents of children with ASD in Ghana are stressed, stigmatized, andfind it difficult when accessing basic education for their children. Also, spiritualityand the belief in the supernatural was identified as dominant cultural opinionregarding the cause of this condition. Hence, most parents cope by seeking spiritualhelp, seeking family and friend support, educating themselves about the condition,changing their lifestyles, and disregarding negative societal attitudes.
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