Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Somali Parental Participation in School-Based Autism Treatments: A Cultural Perspective
by Sweeney, Laura, Ph.D., Northcentral University, 2018, 181; 10976508
Abstract (Summary)

This study used qualitative methods to investigate the phenomenon of nonparticipation of Somali parents in their child’s school-based autism treatments including the lack of follow through at home. Semi-structured interviews with open-ended questions were used to engage six (n = 6) Somali parents in a discussion about their perceptions, experiences, understandings, and feelings about their child’s school-based autism treatments. Upon analysis eight major themes emerged in relationship to the research questions. These themes were: (1) parents reported schools were not providing treatments, (2) felt child was not receiving a proper education, (3) felt schools were not helping prepare child for future, (4) reported schools ignored or were unaware of their child’s strengths, (5) reported they had not received any instruction for treatment follow through at home, (6) would prefer different treatment options, (7) did not feel school providers were sensitive to their needs or the needs of their child, (8) reported experiencing racism from school-based providers and administrators. In addition, four unsolicited themes emerged from the data. These additional themes were: (1) noticed symptoms and sought medical/professional help early in child’s development, (2) reported symptom onset in relationship to vaccines, (3) declined further vaccines after symptom onset, (4) reported a lack of trust in researchers, research institutions, and research results. It was an unexpected result that the parents in this sample would differ from other studies. Parents in this sample reported highly Americanized complaints about the type, timing, duration, quality, and expectations of their child’s school-based ASD treatments. These results highlight the need for a better understanding of acculturation levels, the need to enhance communication between schools and Somali parents, and a need to rebuild trust in this vulnerable population.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ackerman, Michelle
Commitee: McNamara, Patrick, Remedios, Richard
School: Northcentral University
Department: Psychology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 80/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: African Studies, Educational psychology, Psychology, Individual & family studies
Keywords: Autism spectrum disorders, Cross-cultural research, Parental participation, School-based asd treatments, Somali
Publication Number: 10976508
ISBN: 978-0-438-63434-3
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