Justina Tamošūnienė, Laima Mikulėnaitė, Jovita Petrulytė, Juozas Raistenskis, Alvydas Juocevičius


One of the major factor influencing functional and social adaptation of the person is aquirement of independance and self-help skills. Ability to take care of oneself and to be less dependent from other persons improves self esteem, enhances adaptation in the environment. One of the most important goals of pediatric rehabilitation is development of independence of the child. So far the were know research studies about the independence skills of autistic children in Lithuania. Goals of the study: to assess development of skills of preschool children with autism spectrum disorders and difficulties, which parents encounter in teaching children self-help skills. Methodology. Target of the study was randomly selected sample of 3-7 year old children with autism spectrum disorders, diagnosed according to the criteria of ICD-10. 33 children were included into the study group. Control group was comprised of randomly selected 3-7 year old children without developmental disorders. Method of the study: Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory (PEDI) and parent‘s questionnaire, developed for this study, were used to assess all the children. Results and conclusions: 1. Most children with autism spectrum disorders develop self-help skills later than their peers. Comparison with control group showed, that 91% (N=30) of autism spectrum children developed self-help skills later than their peers (p<0,05). 2. Most prominent delay was determined in the areas of toilet skills and personal hygiene skills. 3. Eating skills was best developed area of self-help in autism spectrum children. Majority of the clinical group (23 children (69,7%) were able to eat independently using table tools. 4. It is most challenging for parents to teach children with autism spectrum disorders personal hygiene and dressing skills.

Keyword(s): autism; self-help; development
DOI: 10.5200/410
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