The Experiences of Parents in Providing Behaviour Support To Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder in Quang Binh, Vietnam

Author: Thi Dung Tran

Tran, Thi Dung, 2019 The Experiences of Parents in Providing Behaviour Support To Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder in Quang Binh, Vietnam, Flinders University, College of Nursing and Health Sciences

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Background and Aims: There is a high occurrence of challenging behaviours among children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Parents are often the primary caregivers of children with ASD, and therefore play a key role in providing behaviour support. There has been considerable research regarding ASD and behaviour support; however, there is limited research in this area in developing countries, including Vietnam, and no research examining the lived experiences of parents in providing behaviour support to children with ASD in Quang Binh, a small province in Vietnam. This research aims to address this gap in the literature by providing preliminary insights into experiences of parents in Quang Binh, which is important to better understand parents’ perspectives to inform services to best meet their support needs. Methodology: A qualitative phenomenological approach was utilised, consisting of semi-structured interviews with 10 parents living in Quang Binh who have a child with ASD. Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed and thematically analysed using NVivo. Ecological systems theory was utilised as a guiding framework to present and discuss the research findings. Results: Parents’ strengths identified in providing behaviour support included the use of preventative strategies (e.g., environmental modification). Parents also reported a sense of responsibility and unconditional love for their child, which were considered key foundations in providing effective behaviour support. Parents reported significant barriers in accessing relevant supports and services, with the following key themes identified: ‘limited knowledge regarding ASD and behaviour support’, ‘financial burden’, ‘time-limitations’ and ‘stigma and cultural attitude’. Parents received support through family, social networks and professionals; however, their perception of these supports varied, with some parents reported this to be unhelpful specific to behaviour support. The need for more information and accessible and affordable support services relating to ASD and behaviour support were emphasised by all ten participants. Conclusions: In using the ecological systems theory, it was evident that the experiences of parents were impacted across system levels, including the microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem and macrosystems. Synthesis of findings in this research highlights a lack of expertise in behaviour support in Quang Binh, Vietnam. Findings were discussed in the broader context of Vietnam, with recommendations for further research to inform an optimal service model, including policies and best-practices in providing behaviour support for individuals with ASD and their families in a Vietnamese context.

Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Children with ASD, Challenging behaviours, Parents' experiences; Parents' strengths and challenges, Parents' support needs, Behaviour support, Vietnam

Subject: Disability Studies thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2019
School: College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Supervisor: Alinka Fisher