Original Research

Perspectives of key stakeholders on educational experiences of children with autism spectrum disorders at the Kenyan Coast

Amina Abubakar, Joseph K. Gona, Patricia Kipkemoi, Ken Rimba, Dennis Amukambwa, Charles R.J.C. Newton
African Journal of Disability | Vol 11 | a847 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ajod.v11i0.847 | © 2022 Amina Abubakar, Joseph K. Gona, Patricia Kipkemoi, Kenneth Rimba, Dennis Amukambwa, Charles R.J.C. Newton | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 09 February 2021 | Published: 23 February 2022

About the author(s)

Amina Abubakar, Neurosciences Research Group, Centre for Geographic Medicine Research-Coast, KEMRI-Welcome Trust Research Programme, Kilifi, Kenya; and, Institute for Human Development, Aga Khan University, Nairobi, Kenya; and, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
Joseph K. Gona, Neurosciences Research Group, Centre for Geographic Medicine Research-Coast, KEMRI-Welcome Trust Research Programme, Kilifi, Kenya
Patricia Kipkemoi, Neurosciences Research Group, Centre for Geographic Medicine Research-Coast, KEMRI-Welcome Trust Research Programme, Kilifi, Kenya
Ken Rimba, Neurosciences Research Group, Centre for Geographic Medicine Research-Coast, KEMRI-Welcome Trust Research Programme, Kilifi, Kenya
Dennis Amukambwa, Neurosciences Research Group, Centre for Geographic Medicine Research-Coast, KEMRI-Welcome Trust Research Programme, Kilifi, Kenya
Charles R.J.C. Newton, Neurosciences Research Group, Centre for Geographic Medicine Research-Coast, KEMRI-Welcome Trust Research Programme, Kilifi, Kenya; and, Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom


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Abstract

Background: Little is known about the educational experiences of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in the Kenyan Coastal context.

Objectives: We examined the diagnostic and placement procedures used in education on the Kenyan coastal region. In addition, we investigated the education-related challenges faced by children with ASD.

Methods: We conducted focus group discussions and in-depth interviews with 21 participants, including teachers, clinicians and educational administrators. Data were analysed using an inductive thematic framework on qualitative data analysis software, NVIVO 10.

Results: The findings from this study indicate that there were no systematic approaches to diagnosing children as having ASD. Teachers reported experiencing many challenges, including a lack of specialised training, inadequate resources and difficulty in managing children with different functional abilities in one class.

Conclusion: There is an urgent need for contextually relevant evidence-based identification, placement and management services to be put in place to meet the educational needs of children with ASD.


Keywords

autism spectrum disorders; education; assessment; teacher training; special needs

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