Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is defined as a group of neurodevelopment disorders that are usually diagnosed in early childhood. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 192 women of reproductive age selected from three communities of Ukwuani Local Government Area. A semistructured questionnaire was administered to obtain information from respondents. Mean age of respondents was 57.9 ± 9.8 years, and 105 (54.70%) were married. More than half 108 (56.30%) of the respondents were aware of ASD. More than one third (34.40%) of the respondents had good knowledge of ASD. Predictors of good knowledge of ASD includes; marital status (OR=1.480 95% CI=1.078-2.032), husbands occupation (OR=0.645 95% CI=0.509-0.819) and husbands education (OR=0.629 95% CI=0.454-0.873). In addition, most of the respondents demonstrated poor attitude towards autistic children. Majority, 156 (81.30%) concur to unusual behaviour towards autistic mothers and their children and 45 (34.10%) agreed that ignoring autistic children when they are in need is one of the ways of attending to them. The finding shows poor knowledge and attitude of respondents towards children with autism spectrum disorder. Therefore, more awareness of the disease especially in rural areas is hereby recommended.
Keyword: Autism Spectrum Disorders, knowledge, attitude, autistic children, women
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