Perceived Barriers and Existing Challenges in Participation of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: “He Did Not Understand and No One Else Seemed to Understand Him”
Social participation is one of the most important predictors of the children’s physical and mental health. Although it is evidenced that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have restricted social participation, it is unclear which factors play a significant role. This research aimed to uncover perceived barriers of social participation by involving 26 stakeholders including parents of children with ASD, youth with ASD, and clinicians working with individuals with ASD in focus groups and interviews. Using thematic analysis yielded three themes including (a) difficulty understanding social situations; (b) maladaptive behaviours; and (c) conflicting priorities and restricted nature of training. This project was the first study to involve key stakeholders to highlight barriers of social participation among individuals with ASD.
KeywordsASD Social participation Perceived barriers Qualitative study
We would like to express our sincere thanks to funding agencies, the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research and UBC Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies for their great support.
PG, TJ, SC, and CM were involved in study design, ethics application, analysis of data, and writing or editing the manuscript. JGZ and JL were involved in the study design, editing, and reviewing the manuscript.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
No conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in this study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the University Behavioural Research Ethics Board.
We obtained written informed consent from all participants prior to the study.
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