Parental Perceptions, Attitudes and Involvement in Interventions for Autism Spectrum Disorders in Sarawak, Malaysia

Jing Xin Teo, Bee Theng Lau


Purpose: This study explores and compares perspectives of educators and parents regarding interventions used in managing Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Sarawak, Malaysia. Information on parental desires and limitations when selecting and maintaining management will aid in the development of strategies for ASD educators to work effectively with parents and caregivers, and vice versa.

Method: This qualitative research employed traditional question and answer interviews with 7 ASD educators and 30 parents. Interviews were semi-structured and questions were open-ended to allow for additional details to be relayed within the scope of the subject matter. Thematic analysis revealed overarching perceptions concerning parental attitudes towards involvement in their children’s interventions, and implications of cultural context.

Results: Perspectives were similar regarding the importance of confidentiality from educators and cultural factors playing a major role in content of intervention chosen by parents. Perspectives differed across four themes. Of significance was the way in which both samples viewed parental self-reliance in supplementing interventions and parental attitudes in effort and perseverance. 

Conclusion: Parental resources and culture influence ability and attitudes towards involvement. While educators may not agree on certain aspects, mutual appreciation of differing perspectives would benefit the children.


Autism Spectrum Disorder; ASD amelioration; Sarawak; educator development; special needs teacher training

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