Pan African Medical Journal

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Sociodemographic factors in Arab children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Mostafa Amr, WaleedAl Bu Ali, Hatem Hablas, Dahoud Raddad, Fatma El-Mehesh, Abdel-Hady El-Gilany, Hemdan Al-Shamy


Introduction: There is a critical gap in Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) research with respect to manifestations of the condition in developing countries This study examined the influence of sociodemographic variables on the severity of autistic symptoms and behavioral profile in Arab children. Methods: The total study sample comprised of 60 Arab children (38 boys and 22 girls) from three Arab countries (22 Jordanians, 19 Saudis and 19 Egyptians). The diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) was based on DSM-IV criteria supplemented by direct observation according to the Indian Scale for Assessment of Autism (ISAA) and assessment of Intelligent Quotient (IQ). Finally, parents rated their child on the Achenbach Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Results: It was found that the housewives and Saudi parents described more autistic symptoms and externalizing behavior problems. A significant negative correlation was found between IQ and each of ISAA, CBCL Internalizing and Externalizing problems scores. Conclusion: The study concluded that the clinical presentation of ASD may be shaped by cultural factors that are likely to help to formulate specific diagnosis and intervention techniques in Arab children with ASD.

Pan African Medical Journal 2012; 13:65

AJOL African Journals Online