Gender and Behaviour

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The impact of social work services in improving the functioning of mothers of children with autism

T Letlhakwane, Elizabeth Smit


Autism is not a disability; it is a condition. Quite a few literatures are available on autism and awareness about this condition is almost non-existent. The aim of the research was to establish what social work services exist to improve the general functioning of mothers of children living with autism. The study focused on the importance of social work services in respect of mothers with autistic children in Rustenburg, North West province. The concept as well as prevalence of autism were highlighted. Unstructured interview schedule was used purposefully to conduct this qualitative study to gain in-depth information from the key informants. The eco-system perspective was utilized to understand the environment in which the participants live, as well as the strength based perspectives that emphasizes that individuals have the capacity to make necessary changes in their lives provided they are given support and information. The findings confirmed that mothers with autistic children face a lot of challenges and that social work intervention is needed to autistic child and the family.

Keywords: autism, functioning, social functioning

AJOL African Journals Online