Perspectives of key stakeholders on educational experiences of children with autism spectrum disorders at the Kenyan Coast.
Abubakar A., Gona JK., Kipkemoi P., Rimba K., Amukambwa D., Newton CRJC.
Background: Little is known about the educational experiences of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) in the Kenyan Coastal context. Objectives: We examined the diagnostic and placement procedures used in education on the Kenyan coastal region. In addition, we investigated the education-related challenges faced by children with ASD. Methods: We conducted focus group discussions and in-depth interviews with 21 participants, including teachers, clinicians and educational administrators. Data were analysed using an inductive thematic framework on qualitative data analysis software, NVIVO 10. Results: The findings from this study indicate that there were no systematic approaches to diagnosing children as having ASD. Teachers reported experiencing many challenges, including a lack of specialised training, inadequate resources and difficulty in managing children with different functional abilities in one class. Conclusion: There is an urgent need for contextually relevant evidence-based identification, placement and management services to be put in place to meet the educational needs of children with ASD.