Parenting experiences, social support and coping strategies of parents having children with autism spectrum disorder in Uganda.
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Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a term used to describe a range of neuro-developmental conditions with shared core symptoms of impaired social interaction, communication abilities and behaviors. ASD affects many children not only in Uganda but also in other parts of the world. This study sought to examine the experiences of Ugandan parents to children with ASD. Therefore, a descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out on Ugandan parents to children with ASD and the data collected was entirely qualitative. The data was collected by the researcher following an open-ended interview guide and interacting directly with the respondents on a one-to-one basis. Self-selected sampling and snowball sampling to recruit research participants who were obtained from Kampala residents. The study also involved eight mothers and four fathers to children with ASD. The findings indicated that parents to children with ASD were keen observers of other children in the community who presented with significant ASD symptoms. They experienced stigma and parenting stress while looking after their children with ASD. In particular, fathers were more stressed than mothers most especially if their children with ASD we often re the only boys in the family. masked stress related to parenting their children with ASD. Also, these fathers Overall, Ugandan p parenting experiences are a function of having a child with ASD.