• 1 Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia


Autism spectrum disorder is a developmental disability that has gained increasing attention in Malaysia. Much effort is
now being taken to include children with autism spectrum disorder in the school system, either in inclusive settings or
in special educational settings. However, this endeavor raises many challenges for the children with autism spectrum
disorder, their families and for service providers. The current study uses a qualitative approach to investigate parents’
perceptions of problems faced by their children with autism spectrum disorder in issues related to academic skills. A faceto-face
interview was performed with parents of children with autism spectrum disorders who were receiving occupational
therapy services for their difficulties in academic related skills. Findings indicate that most of the difficulties faced by these
children are related to skills needed to be accepted at school, such as ability to communicate and socialize and this often
limit their performance at school. These findings not only raise and discuss important implications for service providers
such as teachers, health care professionals and policy makers, but also lead to suggestions for future research.