Accessing parental perspectives to inform the development of parent training in autism in south-eastern Europe
Preece, David A.
Frey Škrinjar, Jasmina J.
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Parent training has been shown to be an important means of supporting families living with autism–but such services are not universally accessible. A multinational project funded by the European Commission has been developed in order to establish such parent training in three south-eastern European countries. To ensure that the training was relevant and appropriate, a survey was carried out in autumn 2015 to ascertain the attitudes of parents of children with autism in Croatia, Cyprus and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia regarding this issue, and to identify the areas of training that they felt most important. Two hundred and fifty-three surveys were distributed, and 148 were returned, a response rate of 58%. Respondents in the three counties were overwhelmingly positive about parent training, with almost 90% stating that they would like to attend such training. Weekend training sessions were preferred by the majority of respondents. There was wide variation between the three countries with regard to what content was felt important to be included, with parents in the FYR of Macedonia seeking information in the greatest number of areas. Five topics were prioritised by parents across all three countries. These were:• Strategies for enhancing my child’s communication • Strategies on facilitating my child’s interaction with other children • Sensory integration and development • General information on behavioural management strategies • Identifying and/or developing socialisation opportunities