Mothers’ evaluations of fathers’ contributions to raising children with autism spectrum disorder in the United Arab Emirates



Raising a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) presents unique challenges. A recent study published in May 2024 sheds light on this topic in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), specifically focusing on fathers’ involvement and how mothers perceive their contributions. The study, titled “Mothers’ evaluations of fathers’ contributions to raising children with autism spectrum disorder in the United Arab Emirates,” offers valuable insights for parents, professionals, and policymakers.

Key Areas of Fatherly Involvement


Researchers surveyed 240 mothers, utilizing a specially designed scale to assess fathers’ involvement in three key areas:

  • Attitude: This section evaluated fathers’ overall outlook on raising a child with ASD.
  • Participation in Training: Researchers examined fathers’ engagement in training programs or workshops related to ASD.
  • Support Provided: This aspect assessed the emotional and practical support fathers offered to their children with ASD.

The Study’s Findings


The study revealed some interesting trends:

  • Positive Paternal Attitudes: The good news is that fathers generally displayed positive attitudes towards raising their children with ASD. This indicates a willingness to be involved and contribute to their child’s development.
  • Supportive Dads: Mothers reported that fathers provided good emotional and practical support. This highlights the crucial role fathers play in creating a stable and nurturing environment for their children with ASD.
  • Training Gap Identified: An intriguing finding emerged regarding fathers’ participation in training programs. Mothers expressed some ambivalence or uncertainty about fathers’ involvement in this area. This suggests a potential gap in terms of fathers seeking out or having access to relevant training opportunities related to ASD.

Factors Influencing Fatherly Involvement


The level of involvement also appeared to vary based on several factors, including:

  • Marital Status: The study suggests that fathers’ involvement might differ depending on whether they are married or single.
  • Location: Geographic location within the UAE could potentially influence fathers’ involvement patterns.
  • Child’s Gender: The research indicates a possible influence of the child’s gender on how fathers are involved.
  • ASD Severity: The level of a child’s ASD symptoms might also play a role in the way fathers participate in their care.

Significance of the Study


This research is important for several reasons. It provides valuable insights into the dynamics of families raising children with ASD in the UAE, specifically regarding fathers’ roles. Understanding these dynamics can help develop targeted programs and interventions to support fathers in their crucial role.


Future Areas of Exploration


Here are some potential areas for future exploration based on this study’s findings:

  • Develop Father-focused ASD Training Programs: The study suggests a need for training programs specifically designed to equip fathers with the knowledge and skills to support their children with ASD.
  • Promote Family-based Support Systems: Creating support systems that address the needs of both mothers and fathers can be crucial for navigating the challenges of raising a child with ASD.
  • Further Research on Underlying Factors: Investigating the reasons behind the variations in fathers’ involvement based on factors like marital status, location, and child’s gender can provide valuable insights for developing targeted interventions.

By understanding and addressing the specific needs of fathers in the UAE raising children with ASD, we can create a more supportive environment for both parents and children.



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