Parents’ involvement in improving self- help skills of children with autistism: joy center of NIA Foundation for children with autism in focus

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Addis Ababa University


In Ethiopia there are only three centers for children with autism, all are found in Addis Ababa. In this study the researcher focused on parents of Joy center of Nia foundation for children with autism. The purpose of this study was to investigate the existing and real practice of Parents’ and teachers’ involvement on improving Self-help skills of children with autism, at Joy center- Nia foundation. In order to achieve the objective, the researcher had employed a qualitative research approach namely, case study method. The participants of the study was nine parents of children with autism, two teachers and one care giver were selected from the targeted center for interview and focus group discussion questions. The methods of data collection were semi- structured interview, focused group discussion, anecdotal observation and document review. Data were analyzed using thematic analysis. The findings revealed that lack of parental involvement is detriment to the child’s development and progress within an early intervention program. The findings also revealed that Joy Autism center for children with autism is supporting parents of children with autism to maximizing the implementation of self- help skills of children with autism by involving them in different awareness creation programs, helping their children to develop self -help skills, giving periodic and updated information regarding autism, providing economical support, creating job opportunity for those economically weak, providing free lunch service, providing school bus and giving them monthly training on the area of autism and self-help skills. The finding also disclosed that some parents did not involve themselves in their child’s program and this affected their skills to support children with autism, their children also manifest low self-help skills on their environment, and showed only minimal developmental progress. The study recommended that parents and school management needs to work together to meet the same goal, that is to improve the specific problem of the child both at home and school. It would be better if integrated activities between the parent and the school implemented to alleviate the problems of CWA



Children with autistism: joy center of Nia Foundation