International Meeting for Autism Research: Levels of ASD Recognition and Attitudes towards Treatments and Interventions In the Chinese General Population

Levels of ASD Recognition and Attitudes towards Treatments and Interventions In the Chinese General Population

Friday, May 13, 2011
Elizabeth Ballroom E-F and Lirenta Foyer Level 2 (Manchester Grand Hyatt)
10:00 AM
X. Zhou, J. Wang, W. Xia, C. Sun, X. Wang and L. Wu, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China

Autism is a common developmental disorder. However there is a paucity of research about people’s knowledge about autism and attitudes towards treatments and interventions in the general population. Developmental disorders in children will be neglected and the early diagnosis and treatment for children with Autism will be delayed if there is a lack of the knowledge.


To (1) estimate the proportions of people in the community who could correctly identify autism spectrum disorders, (2) describe the attitudes towards various treatments for autism spectrum disorders, and (3) identify factors associated with recognizing autism spectrum disorders in this population.


Using cluster sampling method, parents and/or grandparents of children from 34 kindergartens in 6 districts in Harbin city (P.R.China) were enrolled in the study. We distributed 5515 questionnaires in potential participants. Among them, 4947 questionnaires were returned (89.7%). The questionnaires asked information about general knowledge about autism, ability to recognize autism and attitudes towards treatments and interventions. In this analysis, we estimated the proportions of participants who could correctly recognize autism, described the attitudes towards treatments and interventions, and identified factors associated with recognition.


We found that 57.9% of the participants could accurately identify the features of autism; 57.1% could accurately describe different levels of autism; 8.0% knew autism as a developmental disorder. Female knew more than male in the three aspects of autism. About 84.6% of the participants went to see health professionals as soon as their children were found with the abnormal behaviors. However, 55.3% of participants didn’t know what settings they should go for the child’s problems. In the questionnaire on the settings for autism treatment, 60.8% of parents thought treatment should be done in psychological clinic. Only 33.4% of parents knew the rehabilitation and education training were the best ways for treatment. Logistical results showed the mothers with high education had better knowledge about autism than fathers.


The levels of recognition of autism are low in the general population. There is a significant room for improvement. Female participants have better knowledge about autism than males. Health education and promotion are needed to raise the autism awareness and facilitate early intervention in the general population.

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