Context: This study focused on the family care provided to twenty (20) autistic children in Naga City in terms of grooming, behavior development, interpersonal development, and communication, together with their adequacy. The research output was a plan designed to enhance family care for autistic children.
Study design: Descriptive survey method
Study setting: Naga City
Study population: Twenty (20) children with autism.
a. Out of twenty children, ten of 50 percent were between 10 - 12 years old, five or 25 percent were aged 13-14 years old, four or 20 percent were between 15-16 years and one or 5 percent was 17 years old. Their average age was 12.83 years old. All of the autistic children were males. Only one parent gave the IQ of her child which she claimed to be below average. The rest of the parents did not know about mental age of their autistic children. Seven or 35 percent of the child have poor or limited eye contact, difficulty in initiating and sustaining conservation, and difficulty with empathy and identifying feelings. Four each or 20 percent have limited use of gesture such as pointing, waving, nodding, and shrugging, no social smile , prefer to spend time alone, and have limited ability to show and give toys or point out object of interest. Eight or 40 percent have difficulty in comprehending more than one concept in a sentence, require both verbal an visual cues to understand abstract concepts. Five or 25 percent have repetitive use of favorite phrases, four or 20 percent often were concrete thinkers, three or 15 percent often used one word response, have problems with intonations, have difficulty with symbolism. Seven or 35 percent were preoccupied with a certain toy, hobby, or activity, have strong desire to line up toys, objects, collect them, or hold them; four or 20 percent have odd movement patterns such as finger flicking, hand flapping, spinning or sniffing; were preoccupied with paying with parts of toys or object, wheels, switches, or keyboards.
b. Among the grooming care given to the children most of the time were helping the child defecate and urinate, bathe, change dress, put on/lace shoes. Sometimes provided were brushed the child's teeth, comb hair, change underwear, wipe perspiration.
The following were given to the children most of the time: help the child say good morning/thank you, teach the child to respect elders and playmates, teach the child not to destroy things in the house, help the child appreciate pleasant sites, treat house pet lovingly, help child refrain from hurting siblings/other children in the neighborhood. The parents provided the following care on personal development most of the time: encourage child to play with siblings, other children, teach child to gesture, teach child to respond when its name is called, encourage child to engage in conversation, teach child to show pr give toys or point out objects of interest.The parents always taught their children to perform simple addition, teach child to speak in simple sentences, answer in complete sentence, teach child to label/recognize common objects, recognize letters of the alphabet, teach child to count, identify colors, write/draw.
c. The parents considered very adequate the grooming care given to their children with average mean rating of 2.73. Behavior development was rated 2.40 or adequate. Interpersonal development was rated 2.23 or adequate. Communication development was rated 1.65 or adequate.
d. The proposed family care plan aimed to further enhance the family care given to autistic children in areas needing further development, like behavior, interpersonal and communication development.
a. The autistic children are in their early teens, all males, but their parents are not aware of their mental age, implying that they have not been given psychological test. They exhibit deficits related to social interaction, communication, repetitive pattern of behavior.
b. Family care given to the children most of the times pertain to personal grooming, behavior development, personal development, and communication development.
c. While grooming appears very adequate the parents admit that behavior and communication development is rated only adequate, implying that parents are not very successful in providing these aspects of family care.
d. The plan aims to help the parents improve the family care given to their autistic children who suffer from some deficit and need assistance in developing their personal and communication development.