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Cultural Beliefs about Autism in Indonesia
journal contributionposted on 16.07.2018, 00:00 by YE Riany, M Cuskelly, Pamela Meredith
Cultural beliefs about parenting have an important influence on parenting behaviours, including considerations about appropriate ways to parent children with autism. Although Indonesia has one of the largest and most ethnically diverse populations in the world, little is known about cultural beliefs regarding children with autism within Indonesian cultures. The goal of the present study was to investigate how Indonesian mothers from a range of backgrounds and without a child with autism understood autism and the most appropriate ways to parent such a child. The study was a qualitative investigation using semi-structured interviews with nine Indonesian mothers. Five aspects were investigated: understanding about autism, beliefs about causes of autism, possible reactions to having a child with autism, perceptions of parenting a child with autism, and perceptions of parent-child relationships. The interviews revealed five related themes about autism, including traditional cultural beliefs about appropriate behaviour during pregnancy, karma, and God’s plan, that are not usually reported in the literature from western countries. © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.