Knowledge and Perception Regarding Autism among Primary School Teachers: A Cross-sectional Survey from Pakistan, South Asia

Document Type



Medical College Pakistan


Background: Early detection and intervention seem to improve development in autistic children, and teachers form an important part of their early social environment.Objectives: The objective of this study was to assess baseline knowledge and misconceptions regarding autism among school teachers and evaluate factors influencing their knowledge.MATERIALS AND Methods: This is a cross-sectional survey enrolling primary school teachers using a self-administered questionnaire.Results: Seventy-three teachers (mean age of 34 years, 66% females) responded. Gaps in awareness and knowledge were found. About 52 (71.2%) teachers identified themselves as having some knowledge about autism, with 23 (44.2%) among this group understanding autism as a neurological/mental disorder. The majority (73.1%) believe that special education is a helpful intervention. The only significant factor that influenced knowledge among teachers was attendance of behavioral classes (P = 0.01).CONCLUSION: Results suggest that teachers have an inadequate understanding of autism due to several misconceptions. This calls for increased education of teachers with regard to autism and other childhood disorders.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Indian Journal of Community Medicine

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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