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Predictors of perceived stress among caregivers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: A state-wide study

Principal Author:

Dr Nik Aida Nik Adib

District Health Office Kota Bharu, Jalan Doktor, Bandar Kota Bharu, 15000 Kota Bharu, Kelantan


Associate Prof Mohd Ismail Ibrahim and  Associate Prof Azriani Ab Rahman

Department of Community Medicine, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kota Bharu, Kelantan

Dr Wan Nor Arifin Wan Mansor

Unit of Biostatistics and Research Methodology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 14 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kota Bharu, Kelantan

Dr Nor Azni Yahaya

Department of Pediatric, Hospital Raja Perempuan Zainab II, Kota Bharu, Kelantan

Suria Hussin

Department of Psychiatric, Hospital Raja Perempuan Zainab II, Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia; 12 (S.H)


Caregivers of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) experience increased stress and more significant negative caregiving consequences than those with typically developing children. As for now, there is a lack of studies specifically focusing on stress among caregivers with ASD children in Asian countries. The current study examines levels of perceived stress and factors associated with it among caregivers in Kelantan. In a cross-sectional study, the Malay version of the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) was administered to 227 caregivers of children with ASD. The caregivers were recruited from ASD databases in four tertiary hospitals in Kelantan and a meeting was set up during the child’s follow-up in the clinic. Multiple linear regression analyses were applied to determine the predictors of perceived stress. The mean total perceived stress score was 20.84 (4.72). This was considered higher than average. Higher perceived stress was significantly predicted among caregivers who live far from the health institution, caregivers who do not own transportation to bring the child to the treatment centre, and caregivers who more concerned of learning disability present in their child (adjusted b= 1.76; 95%CI 0.18, 3.34; p=0.035), (adjusted b= 3.06; 95%CI 0.53, 5.61; p=0.018), (adjusted b= 2.42; 95%CI 0.85, 3.98; p=0.002), respectively. Caregivers of an ASD child perceived significant stress while taking care of their children. Institutions should alleviate the factors that were predicted to increase the caregivers’ perceived stress to improve the quality of the lives of children and ASD families as a whole.

Keywords: perceived stress; caregivers; autism spectrum disorder

Track: Parenting/ care-giving


Factors Influencing Quality of Life among Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Sarawak

Mohd Fahmi Ismail, Razitasham bt Safii, Rosalia Saimon

Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak


The number of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) around the world is increasing due to advancement of screening and diagnostic. Taking care of autistic child are challenging due to lack of social interaction, lack of speech and language usage and monotonous play, interest and repetitive behaviour. Parents with an autistic child perceive their quality of life (QoL) lower compared to the parents with normal developing child. Considering this view, this study was trying to determine factors influencing QoL among parents of ASD children in Sarawak, Malaysia. A total of 260 parents from private and public autism rehabilitation institutions in Sarawak have answered a self-administered questionnaire. Data entry and analysis was done by IBM SPSS version 23.0. Data analysis was done to determine significant factors influencing QoL of parents. The mean (SD) age of parents was 37.9 (6.8) years. Autism child ratio male and female is 4:1. A hypothetical model of factors influencing parents’ QoL was tested and found parents’ coping strategies ( = 0.304, t value = 5.995), self-sense of coherence ( = 0.359, t value = 6.817) and good social support to parents ( = 0.222, t value = 4.287) were positively influence their quality of life in caring for an autistic child. However, autism child characteristic not influencing parents’ quality of life (p>0.05). The factors determined good quality of life among parents with ASD are their coping strategies, self-sense coherence and social support. All these factors should be included as part of the autism rehabilitation programme for parents.

Key words: Autism Spectrum Disorder, ASD, Autism, Parents’ Quality of Life (QoL)

Track: Child development


Autism Detection Application (AuDA) Based on EEG Signals

Iman Naimi, Wan Maisarah, Norzaliza MNor

Department Computer Science, Kulliyyah of Information & Communication Technology, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), 50728 Gombak, Kuala Lumpur.


Purpose: The aim of this study is to develop an application that can detect autism using electroencephalogram (EEG) signals for potential autistic patients.

Design/methodology/approach: The main interface will consist of EEG data input, and displaying the result. The EEG data input consists of 19 channels of EEG signals, while the resulting output is the input brain signal, the graph of trajectory for motor learning imitation, the table of summary of trajectory for motor learning imitation, the graph of dynamic motor learning imitation graph, and the probability of the patient of having autism. The second interface consists of instructions and video stimuli (such as clenching hands) to ease the therapist in conducting the test to get brain signals of the patient using the EEG machine. For data analysis, we will use MATLAB software and Phyton programming language. For feature extraction of the brain signal, we will utilize the Mel Frequency Cepstral Coefficient (MFCC) and data classification will be done using the Multi-Layer Perceptron Algorithm (MLP). For software development, we will use the C++ language for the user interface and the back-end.

Findings: The expected outcome of this research is that the AuDA will be able to identify whether the patient has autism by using brain signals data. With the help of AuDA, autism detection would be predicted within a single click, and even better, it will also provide a video to ease the therapist in conducting a thorough process of activities that are used in collecting data.

Research limitations/implications: For future work, the application should use real-time data as input instead of using the collected EEG signal so that the user doesn’t have to go through multiple applications to get the result.

Practical implications: This application will ease doctors and therapists in identifying autism, reduce the time for autism detection as well as increase the accuracy of the test so that autistic children can get treatment as soon as possible.

Originality/value: There is no application that uses brain signals to detect autism yet in Malaysia.

Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorder, MFCC, MLP, EEG

Track: ComputingProtocol of a longitudinal study on children with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Malaysia

Fong Hui Xian and Dr Karen Jennifer Golden

Monash University Malaysia

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a life-long neurodevelopmental disorder denoted by the impairment in executive functioning. Among the cognitive abilities, attention is one of the essential abilities for learning and wellbeing. With the high commodity of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) among children with ASD, attention difficulties have been reported as the core concern of parents of children with ASD. Cognitive attention processes can be divided into three components: Selective Attention, Sustained Attention, and Attentional Control. Research have shown that children with similar inattentive behaviors (e.g., ASD, Down Syndrome, and ADHD) have distinct cognitive attentional processes. However, these studies did not investigate the relationship between parent-reported behaviors and the cognitive processes measured through cognitive tasks. This study is an extension to a study that has been conducted since 2014. This study’s objective is to conduct a longitudinal research to better understand the development of parent-reported children’s behaviors (executive function behaviors and autistic symptoms) among children with ASD in Malaysia. Moreover, the study will also investigate the relationship between parent-reported behaviors and children’s cognitive attentional processes measured through computerized tasks. In total, 140 children with ASD and typical development aged between five to 18 years will be selected for computerized cognitive tasks that measure their cognitive attentional processes. Moreover, the selected children’s parents will be required to complete a questionnaire about their children’s executive function behaviors and autistic symptoms. The understanding of the correlation between parent-reported inattentive behaviors, ASD symptoms and the cognitive attentional processes allow us to better understand the underlying cognitive attention processes that are reflected through inattentive and autistic behaviors. Deepening the knowledge base about the underlying cognition for inattentive and autistics behaviors has important implications for professionals and researchers to develop more sophisticated intervention on the cognitive attention deficits than just merely correcting the inattentive behaviors.  

Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention, Cognitive abilities

Track: Psychology


M-Chat (Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers) bilanguage by using Online Version

Nur Amira Fatin Zakri,  Norzaliza Md Nor

Department Computer Science, Kulliyyah of Information & Communication Technology, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), 50728 Gombak, Kuala Lumpur.


Purpose: The main purpose of this study is to provide an online application for assessing the risk of potentially suffering from autism spectrum disorder (ASD). M-chat is one of the required instruments used by Ministry of Health, Malaysia for ASD screening purposes but it was conducted on manual basis. There is no online application for M-Chat provided to the respondent and the result need to be calculated manually too which is very tedious to be completed.

Design/methodology/approach: This study is to develop an application of M-Chat which can be accessed online. The queries consist of 20 questions that are bilingual (Bahasa Malaysia and English). The test can be done by parents to assess their offspring and results will directly be given after the questionnaire ends.

Findings: The expected result of this study is to provide a tool for parents to assess their children of potentially suffering from ASD.

Research limitations/implications (if applicable): Only Bahasa Malaysia and English are the languages that are used for this application, other languages can be included for future expansion.

Practical implications (if applicable): This application can be used by various organizations or even government departments to conduct M-Chat and assess toddlers online, rather than the conventional way of manual assessment. The information that is retrieved from the patients will be stored in a database for any future reference or follow-ups if required.

Social implications (if applicable): Technology advancement have been incorporated in our daily life, enabling tasks to be done faster, easier and less efforts. The M-Chat which can be conducted using a phone application can greatly help the public to obtain the results online rather than making an appointment and meeting medical officers which are time and money consuming.  

Originality/value: This study is a new bilingual application of M-Chat (Bahasa Malaysia and English).

Keywords: M-Chat, ASD, Online Application

Track: Computing


Early Detection on Dyslexia by Using Brain Computing (EDoD)

Fariq Haikal, Amir Walidz, Norzaliza MNor

Department Computer Science, Kulliyyah of Information & Communication Technology, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), 50728 Gombak, Kuala Lumpur.


Purpose: Aim of this research study is to compare the early screening or detection of dyslexic patients using traditional method such as evaluations and using electroencephalogram (EEG) signals for both normal and dyslexic patient.

Design/methodology/approach: The whole experiment is to identify and analyses the stress level in the brain signal of both dyslexic and normal patients and to observe the difference between them. The brain signals were collected from subjects using EEG machine.  The collection of brain signals was conducted by following a standard protocol for EEG machine usage and two additional protocol which are fine motor skills and matching card game. To analyses the process, MFCC (Mel Frequency Cepstral Coefficients) were used as feature extraction, then MLP (multilayer perceptron) as classifier, to compile the profiling of dyslexia.

Findings: The expected outcome from this research is that the stress levels in the brain signal collected from subjects can give enough evidence, and it could be used in the future as another method to make early detection of dyslexia. The result would be further verified with additional assessment from a therapist.

Research limitations/implications (if applicable): For future work, the comparison between other types of feature extraction method using Kernal Density Estimation (KDE) and classification method ANFIS, Multi Layer Perceptron (MLP), SVM, or Hidden Markov Model need to be used to get more accurate result. Other than that, the application of this method should be established so that easy for the user to do early detection through brain computing.

Practical implications (if applicable): The main outcome of the research is to identify either stress could lead to dyslexia and early detection on dyslexia. Through this scientific early detection using brain computing, it can assist doctors to make the fastest early detection on dyslexic. Thus, by using this one application of an early detection of dyslexia using brain computing, hospital or an expert can provide a service for this early detection in fastest way. It is expected less than 15 minutes.  

Originality/value: Of course this research paper will get back to the society on early detection of dyslexia in a fastest way with accurate result. There is no applications that has been established in Malaysia that using brain computing to do early detection on dyslexia.

Keywords: Dyslexia, MFCC, MLP

Track: Computing


Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) and Traditional Cooperative Games in Improving Social Skills : A Case Study of Kila

Dinda Permatasari Harahap

Universitas Medan Area

Abstract :

The purpose of this research was to determine the effect of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) which is used in conjunction with traditional games in improving social skills on child. The method which is used was single case study. The participant was a 6 years old child  in kindergarten school who has not the real name “Kila”. The mediums used for CBT techniques are puppets, story telling, visualitation and imagery techniques. Traditional games are used after the CBT’s sections. These games was involving peer group to increase social skills participant. The traditional games used are the games that Indonesian’s people used to do such as “Cublak-cublak Suweng”, “Clogs”, “Cardboard Bridge “Jump Rope”, and “Word Game”. The result show that the CBT technique for children could change participant’s negative automatic thought about her friends. Those traditional games also could improve Kila’ social skills especially in her interpersonal behavior such as make friend, initiative to make some communications, give feedback to her peers, and to be involved in some interactions and communications.

Keywords: CBT, Traditional games, Social skills, Case study

Track: Social skills



Nur Baiti Inayah Zulkifli1, Nor Azrita Mohamed Zain2, Nurlin Ali Hanafiah3

1,2 3 Department of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, Kulliyyah of Allied Health Sciences, International Islamic University Malaysia, 25200 Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia

*Corresponding author email:


Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopment disorder that is characterized by a significant disturbance of social development. Research strongly suggests that social communication deficit is the most distinctive feature of ASD. Children with ASD demonstrate impaired social communication skills, including in joint engagement (JE). JE is a state in which a child and a social partner attend to a same object or event. Although children with ASD show significant impairment in JE abilities, research on what types of JE and its qualities they demonstrate has been limitedly available. In this observational study, JE in young Malay-speaking children were investigated during 20-minutes naturalistic interaction with their mothers using predetermined toys. A total of 25 video recordings, which consists of 12 children with ASD (M age = 61 months) and 13 typically-developing (TD) children (M age = 64 months) were viewed and rated using Joint Engagement Rating Inventory (JERI). The results showed that the children in both groups displayed vary types of JE which included engagement with person as well with object. The qualities of each types of JE, however, were different across groups. Findings of this study also indicated that low quality of JE in young children with ASD is related to social communication deficits. Future research is needed to examine the associated factors that influence the quality of JE in children with ASD in larger population.

Keywords: Joint engagement, children with ASD, typically-developing children, social skill, naturalistic play interaction

Track: Social skills


Parental occupations in relation to Autism Spectrum Disorder: A narrative review

Najwani Razali

International Islamic University Malaysia

P.O. Box 10, 50728 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia



Purpose: Despite the increasing number of prevalence of Autism disorder yet less is known about the etiology of the syndrome and it is still remained unclear. Hence, the aim of this research is to explore and address a diversity of etiology of parental occupations in relation to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) syndrome.

Design/methodology/approach: Relevant and rigorous literature related to parental occupations in relation to ASD will be identified through several database searches such as Scopus, PubMed and Dimension. All literature will be gathered and categorized accordingly in order to present a diversity etiology of ASD in relation to parental occupations. The criteria in selecting the articles will include technical or non-technical job, broader phenotype and systemizing occupation.   

Findings: The expected findings from this study is to present a comprehensive outcome which contribute to the etiology of ASD manifested by parental occupations. The outcomes will be explored further in the Malaysian context specifically.  

Practical implications (if applicable): The outcomes of the review will have implication on the practitioner to take into considerations about parental background which may influence the risk of ASD. This can help the practitioner to propose better solutions for parents in the future in reducing the risk of ASD.   

Originality/value: There are very few studies reported on autism etiology from parental occupations which may influence the risk of having autistic children in Malaysia specifically.  Therefore, it is vital to further investigate parental occupation effect on ASD and the potential etiology of autistic disorder can contribute to better prevention and lower the risk of ASD.


Keywords: ASD, parental occupations, etiology, autism

Track: Psychology


The Cognitive Profile of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Mariam Adawiah Dzulkifli

Noor Hasina Abdul Rahman

Department of Psychology, International Islamic University Malaysia

Jalan Gombak, 53100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Abstract :

Learning disabilities may be manifested differently in children, and are usually become apparent when they start formal education. Early detection is critical, thus, it is of great importance to screen and assess the children’s development, characteristics, and needs to support their progress and learning experience. This study aims to describe the cognitive profile of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). In the present study the cognitive profile is developed based on 199 (n=199) Malaysian children with ASD range from 6 to 9 year of age. The Children’s Psychological Processing Scale (CPPS) was used to assess cognitive processes such as attention, auditory processing, executive function, fine motor, fluid reasoning, long-term recall, oral language, phonological processing, processing speed, visual-spatial processing and working memory of children with ASD. The resulting profile of cognitive processes in the children with ASD was characterized by mild processing difficulty for the general processing ability, auditory processing, fine motor, fluid reasoning, long-term recall, phonological processing, visual-spatial processing and working memory. The results also demonstrated moderate processing difficulty in oral language and no significant processing difficulty in attention, executive function and processing speed. This cognitive profile is hoped to contribute to the development of a framework to improve and personalize the children’s learning experiences that suit learning abilities.

Keywords: ASD, children, cognitive profile, learning disabilities

Track: Psychology


Building the Character of Children with Autism Using the Qur’anic Therapy at Rumah Autis Depok, West Java, Indonesia

Lisfa Sentosa Aisyah, S.Ag, MA, Dra. Banun Binaningrum, M.Pd,

Dra. Tien Rohmatien, MA

Faculty of Ushuluddin UIN Syarif Hidayatullah Jakarta

Abstract :

All children in the world was born in a nature condition. This nature is from Allah and will always be exist in all human include children with Autism. Based on this reason, Rumah Autis is built to keep the nature of human being using The Quranic Therapy. The learning method which is implemented in this Rumah Autis is Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy, occupational therapy, speaking therapy, etc. Rumah Autis prioritizes The Quranic Therapy which build religiosity and spirituality of the children  with autism as the aim of human creation is to worship to Allah.

The aim of the research is to know and to promote The Quranic Therapy on handling children  with autism  at Rumah Autis in Depok West Java, Indonesia. The research used qualitative method with descriptive analysis of the learning method at Rumah Autis, Depok West Java.

The research result showed that The Quranic Therapy is very effective for the children  with autism in Indonesia. This therapy distinguishes between Rumah Autis and other educational institution for children with autism especially in Indonesia.

Socially, the research implicated to the society and government behavior toward the children with autism by campaigning that they also have the same right in the field of education, social, work, etc.

Keywords: Qur’anic therapy, Rumah Autis,  therapy method, The people with autism

Track: Education


Factors Associated with Quality of Life Among Main Caregiver of Child with Autism at Selected Non-Governmental Centers Around Klang Valley

1Siti Fairus Binti Asahar, 2Khasnur Abd Malek, 2Mohamad Rodi Bin Isa

1Klinik Kesihatan Bukit Kuda, Klang, 2Universiti Teknologi MARA


Factors Associated with Quality of Life Among Main Caregiver of Child with Autism at Selected Non-Governmental Centers Around Klang Valley. Having a child with autism has shown to significantly reduce the quality of life of the caregiver, but locally, there are limited data available. A cross sectional study using stratified convenient sampling between June and October 2018 at six non-profitable centers were conducted. Main caregivers were identified who fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Sociodemographic factors of main caregiver and child with autism were obtained. Quality of life of main caregiver was assessed using the Quality of Life in Autism Questionnaire (QoLA), with 28-items QoLA Part A assessing parents’ overall perception of their quality of life and 20-item QOLA Part B assessing the parents’ perception on the impact of child autism symptoms. A total of 116 main caregivers were analyzed and most of them were mother 93 (80.2%). The mean quality of life score among main caregiver was 88.55 ± 17.25 and mean perception of the impact of child autism symptoms towards them was 56.55 ± 12.35. Five factors positively correlated with QoL which were higher education qualification, attending parent training session more than two-times a year, attending follow-up, having child’s grandparent and maid to help with the care and having a verbal child for communicating needs. Two factors negatively correlated with QoL were staying in an apartment and main caregiver with anxiety comorbid. Intervention or support towards the main caregivers is needed to potentially increase the QoL of caregivers.

Keywords: Autism; Parent; Quality of life;

Track: Parenting/ Care-giving



Laili Alfita

Universitas Medan Area


Karakteristik anak autis adalah memiliki hambatan dalam rentang perhatian, yang menjadikan permasalahan dalam  proses pembelajaran. Perlunya  metode belajar yang sesuai dengan karakteristiknya, agar dapat membantu proses belajarnya. Tujuan Studi kasus ini untuk mengetahui metode belajar yang sesuai untuk subjek dalam semua hal. Hal utama yang perlu dipertanyakan dalam  penelitian ini adalah bagaimana cara meningkatkan rentang perhatian subjek dalam pembelajaran. Tahapan yang dilakukan  yaitu: (1) Assesment subjek; (2) menganalisis permasalahan; (3) menyusun intervensi untuk subjek; (4) Melaksanakan intervensi; (5) mengevaluasi efek intervensi. Kesimpulan dari studi ini adalah terdapat peningkatan rentang perhatian pada subjek, setelah menggunakan metode belajar gerakan dan lagu. Anak autis memerlukan metode belajar yang sesuai dengan potensi dan minatnya.

Kata kunci: anak autis, intervensi, metode belajar, rentang perhatian.

Track: Psychology



Suharsiwi ¹, ² Weny Savitry S. Pandia

¹ Islamic Faculty, University of Muhammadiyah Jakarta, Jakarta

² Psychology faculty, Atma Jaya Catholic University, Jakarta

Corresponding e-mail:,


Abstract- The purpose of this research is to develop children's social skills education films with developmental disabilities. The film is designed for children with developmental disabilities to practice a number of social skills with the assistance of teachers / parents. This film is the outcome of research conducted since 2013, which can be used both offline and online through the web: Range of related web for access by the public, especially people living in remote areas of children with special needs access to services. This article focuses more on learning the film media that includes: the composition of the materials, the analysis of the needs of parents and teachers, image quality, and ease to understand. Film Package consists of antipasto theme Ayo Tunjukkan, Ayo Lakukan, and Ayo Jalan. This short film manufacture also consider several criteria a good movie that is; interesting, entertaining, has a plot, according to the theme, loaded with moral values, and has a good image quality. The analysis was conducted by experts, teachers and parents.

Keywords: Film, children with developmental disabilities, maritirukan, learning, social skills

Track: Social skills



Risydah Fadilah (Fakultas Psikologi Universitas Medan Area)


Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder that thoroughly interferes with cognitive, emotional and psychomotor functions. Therefore it can also be said as a neurobiological disorder accompanied by several problems, such as autoimmunity, digestive disorders, sensory integration disorders and imbalance of amino acid composition.

In DSM V it is mentioned that Autism is a developmental disorder that involves various behavioral problems including communication problems, perception problems, motor problems and social development. Autistic children fail to pay attention to emotional signals from others, can reject hugs or eye contact from others. Symptoms that can be observed from children with autism disorders include sleep disorders, digestive disorders, impaired cognitive function, absence of eye contact, one-way communication, temper tantrums, aggressive or hyperactive actions, self-harm, indifference and stereotype motor disorders.

Being a parent who has an autistic child is not easy, both emotionally and financially. There are even parents who have to sell goods that they have to cover the cost of therapy that is not cheap and is long-term. The hope is that the child will get the best chance of healing so that they will get the right knowledge about the condition of the child so that they have the right plan for their future, but this can be achieved if there is support from parents for the healing process of their child through treatment. the therapy they provide at autism therapy sites. Parent’s support in this case includes emotional, informational, instrumental, appreciation and social support.

The sample used as subjects in this study were 22 parents who had autism children from various therapeutic sites in North Sumatra. The sampling technique in this study was purposive sampling where the sample of his parents were those who had given autism therapy treatment for 5 years after his child was diagnosed by a doctor or psychologist. The results of this study indicate that the influence of the support of parents who have autistic children on the success of the treatment of autism therapy that has been done.

Keywords: Autism, DSM V, and Parent’s Support

Track: Parenting/ Care-giving


Kesejahteraan Psikologis ibu yang Memiliki Anak Autis di PLA (Pusat Layanan Autis) Medan/ SLBN AUTIS SUMUT

Pingkan Dwi Adinda

Universitas Medan Area


Setiap orang tua yang memiliki anak pasti menginginkan seorang anak yang sehat, baik secara jasmani maupun rohani. Tetapi, tidak semua anak yang terlahir di dunia akan memiliki kesehatan baik secara jasmani maupun rohani seperti anak yang mengalami permasalahan seperti kecacatan ataupun autis. Di sisi lain,  tidak semua orangtua bisa menerima kenyataan bahwa anaknya teridentifikasi sebagai anak autis. ibu merupakan figur yang paling banyak menghabiskan waktu dengan anaknya dan di harapkan ibu yang memiliki anak autis dapat menjalankan aktivitas sehari-hari dengan energi yang positif. Metode yang digunakan dalam penelitian ini adalah kualitatif dan dengan menggunakan teknik purposive sampling. Tujuan dari penelitian ini adalah untuk melihat gambaran kesejahteraan psikologis ibu yang memiliki anak autis. Subjek penelitian sebanyak 3 orang ibu yang memiliki anak autis di PLA (Pusat Layanan Autis) Medan/ SLBN AUTIS SUMUT dengan rentan usia 30-40 tahun. Hasil dari penelitian ini didapatkan mengenai gambaran kesejahteraan psikologis ibu yang memiliki anak autis, yang mencakup aspek-aspek dari kemandirian, penerimaan diri, tujuan hidup, pengembangan diri, hubungan positif dengan orang lain, dan penguasaan lingkungan.

Kata kunci: kesejahteraan psikologis, ibu, anak autis

Track: Psychology


Application of Deep Neural Network in Classifying Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Azurah A Samah, Hairudin Abdul Majid, Dewi Nasien*, Haslina Hashim, Zuraini Ali Shah

Artificial Intelligence and Bioinformatics Group (AIBIG),

School of Computing,

Faculty of Engineering,

Universiti Teknologi Malaysia,

81310, Johor * Sekolah Tinggi Ilmu Komputer (STIKOM),

Pelita indonesia, No 82 – 84

JI Jendral Ahmad Yani. 28127,

Pekan Baru,

Riau Indonesia.,,,,

Abstract :

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder that causes deficits in communicative and behaviour. Various application of Machine Learning has been applied apart from the clinical tests available, which has increased the performance in the classification of this disorder. In this study, Deep Neural Network (DNN) method which is a recent machine learning popular method is developed and analysed for classifying Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). A dataset of adult ASD screening results is used in this study which contains ASD screening data based upon questions answers from users. The study begins with data pre-processing performed on the datasets which include handling of missing values, variable reduction, normalisation, and label encoding.  This is followed by development of Deep Neural Network Model where in this study, a DNN model using Keras Sequential model API is developed. In developing the proposed DNN model, the architecture of the model and the activation function used in the development of the model DNN are determined. The proposed DNN Model is then evaluated to measure its accuracy in classifying the adult ASD dataset. The results from this study shows that the ASD cases can be accurately classified using the proposed DNN model with 99.40% accuracy.

Keywords—Classification, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Deep Neural Network

Track: Computing




1Marini Othman, Norsaremah Salleh, Hafizah Mansor, Jamilah Hanum and Suriani Sulaiman

1,2,3,5Kulliyyah of Information and Communication Technology

International Islamic University Malaysia

Jalan Gombak 53100 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

E-mail address:

4Department of Psychology

Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences

International Islamic University Malaysia

Jalan Gombak 53100 Kuala Lumpur Malaysia


Purpose: IoT is a powerful paradigm that allows the use of mobile physiological sensors for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) stress profiling and intervention. Such approach is considered as a practical solution considering many a large number of ASD individuals were non-verbal. The IoT-based analytics could be augmented with an alert system for detecting wandering behavior from adult supervision. This paper proposes an IoT based architecture for stress recognition of ASD children, thus providing support for caregivers of these children.

Design/methodology/approach: Mobile applications transmit electro-dermal activity (EDA) signals to a cloud-based processing platform. An analytical engine based on machine learning algorithms processed the fusion of live and archived data for stress profiling. Exceed of stress threshold initiates an intervention mechanism that alerts caregivers of children with autism.

Findings: In this paper, we describe the challenges in providing care for ASD children and existing IoT based technologies used within the context of stress profiling. The visions of big data analytics to support ASD intervention may fundamentally change the way ASD children are raised.

Research limitations/implications: To establish the IoT based architecture, a number of technologies needs to be integrated. It is expected that the reliability of the processing platform and data storage continues to be an open challenge.

Social implications: The Malaysian Transformasi Nasional 2050 (TN50) aspires for

sustainable development of the nation, with the emphasis to improve the well-being and quality of life of the people. Therefore, this study is very relevant as the well-being of the targeted

population can be enhanced through the implementation of IoT solution.

Originality/value: This work contributes towards the provisions of comprehensive care for ASD individuals, hence improving the quality of life for the targeted population and their support network.

Keywords: special needs, wireless sensor network, remote monitoring, big data analytics

Track: Computing



Nor Izzati binti Azman, Nur Niesa Shazwanie binti Abd Mubi, Noor Azura binti Zakaria

Department of Computer Science, Kulliyyah of Information and Communication Technology, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), 53100 Jalan Gombak, Kuala Lumpur.


Purpose – Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) is a learning disability assessment for children with autism symptom who has non-physical problems. The assessment is conducted by the therapist. The current practice of the assessment which includes the calculation, recording and monitoring is done manually. This can lead to inefficiency and cumbersome to the therapist since there are many patients that need to be attended. In order to overcome the problem, the purpose of this poster is to provide an online system to conduct the DSM-5 assessment by the therapist.

Design/methodology/approach – The Iterative Model was followed to develop the DSM-5 online system. Requirements and features needed for the online learning disabilities assessment for DSM-5 system was investigated through literature review and interview before entering other cycles in the Iterative Model.

Findings – A comparison was made with similar DSM-5 systems and it was found that most of the systems are lacking in terms of dashboard, online assessment and appointment features. Therefore, besides providing contents on the DSM-5, this online system was enhanced with the above-mentioned features.

Practical implications – This online system may facilitate the therapist to conduct the DSM-5 assessment without hassle compared to the current manual practice. Besides that, the parents may also monitor the progress of their child who had undergone the learning disability assessment.

Originality/ value – The current manual process of DSM-5 assessment is transformed to the online platform which can facilitate the therapist and parents in terms of assessment, recording and monitoring purposes. This can increase time efficiency and reduce the effort when conducting the assessment.

Keywords: Learning disability, Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM-5, Children learning disability assessment.

Track: Computing


Denver Learning Disability Assessment System (DenLeDAS)

Syahidatul Sajidah binti Ismail, Ainnur Husna binti Anuar, Noor Azura binti Zakaria

Department of Computer Science, Kulliyyah of Information and Communication Technology, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), 53100 Jalan Gombak, Kuala Lumpur.


Purpose: The aim of this project is to develop an assessment system to assess the children learning disabilities focusing to those who has autism symptom with physical problems. The system called as Denver Learning Disability Assessment System (DenLeDAS) will be used by the therapist to conduct the assessment.

Design/methodology/approach: The requirements of the system were elicited using interview technique with the therapist from Penawar Hospital. In addition, the possible and relevant features to be developed for the system were examined from the existing system available in the market and from the literature studies as well. In terms of technical specifications, this project used Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) which further developed using the NetBeans. Meanwhile, MySQL Database was used as the data storage.             

Findings: Based on the interview with the therapist and features comparison with other existing online system, the DesLeDAS provides the dashboard, online assessment and appointment features which can be used by therapist as well as parents or caregivers.

Social implications (if applicable): This system will encourage early diagnosis of children with learning disabilities. Early diagnosis is important to ensure that correct treatment can be provided to improve the children’s life.

Originality/value: The DesLeDAS is able to facilitate the therapist to conduct the assessment with the targeted child more effectively and efficiently. This is because, the system can be accessed anywhere in which can help the therapist to monitor the patient’s progress anytime. In addition, it also helps to save a lot of time compared to manual process and reduce paper-based work.

Keywords: Learning disability assessment, Autism, Denver Developmental Screening Test

Track: Computing



Nur Atikah Binti Din, Nur Ziana Syuhadah Binti Abdul Rashid, Noor Azura Binti Zakaria

Department of Computer Science, Kulliyyah of Information and Communication Technology, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM), 53100 Jalan Gombak, Kuala Lumpur.


Purpose: Learning disability is a neurological disorder and it affects the ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or mathematical calculation of the child. This is because the brain’s process and interpreting the information is different from other normal children. One of the screening tools to assess the children learning disabilities is Short Sensory Profile (SSP). The current assessment is still in manual process by caregiver or parents and therapist. This can lead to ineffectiveness and inefficiency in terms of work performance. Therefore, a web-based SSP is proposed to overcome the problem.

Design/methodology/approach: The requirements and features of the web-based SSP were elicited from the interview with the therapist from Penawar Hospital and also from the existing system available in the market. The assessment questionnaire consists of seven categories with 38 questions were used.

Findings: The web-based SSP was developed with integrated features which is the information content, dashboard, appointment, and online assessment which is lacking in the available application in the market.

Originality/value: The web-based SSP facilitates the caregiver or parents and therapist in conducting and monitoring the learning disability assessment. They are able to access to the system, conduct assessment and monitor progress in the system regardless of location and time which is more effective and efficient compared to the manual process.

Keywords: Children learning disability, Short Sensory Profile, Autism, Dyslexia

Track: Computing



*Mohammad Shadab Khan, Noor Azizah KS Mohamadali, Ali Raza, Humaiz Shaikh, Asadullah Shah

Kulliyyah of Information and Communication Technology International Islamic University Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Purpose: We aim to identify key indicators which impact the perception of teachers’ in special education for autism on technology, along with the factors which influence their behavioural intention and actual usage of technology using Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology 2 model (UTAUT 2).

Design/methodology/approach: This study uses Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology 2 Model (UTAUT 2) to explore the factors that impact special education teachers’ for autism behavioural intention and actual use of technology. UTAUT 2 is used as the foundation to develop the current conceptual framework and the hypothesis is being developed which will be tested later.  

Findings: This paper comprises the conceptual model design and the hypothesis whereas the data collection is not yet completed.

Social implications (if applicable): This research will help in identifying the key motivating and hindering aspects towards use of technology among the special education teachers’ for autism and their practices along with their behavioural intention. This will help the educators to enhance the quality of teaching for special need children, by providing the teachers’ with the right support.

Originality/value: The research gap between the behavioural intention and actual use of technology is not being studied within the Malaysian context for the special need teachers’ who are working along with the children with autism.

Keywords: UTAUT2, Behavioural Intention, Actual Use of Technology

Track: Computing



1Nurul Izzati Mat Razi, Abdul Wahab Abdul Rahman, Norzaliza Md Nor

1Kuliyyah of Information & Communication Technology, International Islamic University Malaysia


Purpose: 1) To extract the psychological parameter for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and understand the relationship between ASD and EEG emotions, 2) To have an early identification of ASD among children by using Computational Neuro-Physiological (CNP) model.

Design/methodology/approach: This research proposed the Computational Neuro-Physiological (CNP) model to implement the early identification of ASD based on the electroencephalogram (EEG) emotions by recognizing the symptoms of ASD among the children.

Findings: The results show several differences among the children with the possibility of having ASD symptoms and the typically developing children.  The ASD children have lower Alpha-Beta Test (ABT) power ratio while normal children have higher Alpha-Beta Test (ABT) power ratio.

Research limitations/implications (if applicable): There are several limitations to study on ASD children as there are several symptoms and types of ASD, and some of them might have the comorbid disorders.

Practical & Social implications (if applicable): The outcome of this research could assist an early diagnosis that could help the ASD children to get an early therapist and treatment.

Originality/value: The CNP model proposed in this study is applicable for ASD that could provide an early detection of ASD among children.

Keywords: Electroencephalogram, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Emotions, Early Detection.

Track: Computing


Syllable Method in Improving Reading Skills: A Case Study of Sena

Dinda Permatasari Harahap

Universitas Medan Area



The purpose of this research was to determine the effect of Silabel Method in literacy skills. The method which is used was single case study. The participant was a 9 years old child in elementary school. The participant has dyslexia especially in reading difficulty. The method used in this case was Syllable Method. This method is defined as the process of learning to read that begins with the syllables. The intervention was done in three months. The result showed that the Silabel Method could improve participant’s reading skills. The participant begins to recognize letters and letters sound, reads letter names and syllables, and spells simple words.

Keywords: Reading difficulty, syllables method, dyslexia

Track: Education



Nadzirah Ahmad Basri1 & Nik Nur Wahidah Nik Hashim2

1Ph.D; Department of Psychiatry, Kulliyyah of Medicine, International Islamic University Malaysia, Jalan Hospital, 25000 Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia.

Cell number: 010-208 5714           Email:

2Ph.D; Department of Mechatronics, Kulliyyah of Engineering, International Islamic University Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Purpose: This study examines differences in parental stress between parents of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) children (n=21) and Typically Developed (TD) children (n=41) in Malaysia. This study also compares the ages of parents of ASD children with parents of TD children with stress as a variable in these parents.

Methodology: Respondents were recruited from a skills parental group training for ASD, an awareness talk on ASD and ADHD and from online parents of special needs’ children groups. Respondents completed the Parental Stress Index (brief Malay version) and a socio-demographic questionnaire.

Findings: Parents with ASD children were found to be significantly more stressed compared to parents of TD children. Significant scores were also found in the Parent-Child Dysfunctional Interaction (P-CDI) sub-scale as well as Difficult Child (DC) and Parental Distress (PD) sub-scales with lower significance. Results also indicate that the 30-35 year-old age group among ASD parents was significantly found to be more stressed compared with parents of TD children of the same ages.

Research limitations/implications: Limitations include using purposive and convenience sampling which limit the generalizability of the study and non-availability of the severity of their ASD (low, medium or high functioning). Implications of the findings include improving support and intervention for families with ASD such as taking preventive measures for young parents by empowering social supports for them.

Originality/value: The findings are significant because it targets young to middle age parents to children of ASD. It is significant to ASD parents as they need the support from the society.

Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorder; parental stress; Malaysia

Track: Psychology






This paper determined the social skills and behavioral patterns among young children who are first timers in formal schooling for early assessment and intervention.

According to Erik Erickson, the social experiences and interaction of young children with others greatly affect his development while he is growing. The accomplishment of any life crisis or struggles in each stage of his life will help him be more effective and stronger in dealing with higher form of life problems in the next stage of life.

The population is composed of kindergarten children ages 3 and 4 which are composed of 14 boys and 29 girls and attended school according to age group. The study used a rating scale composed of 2 sets – social skills and problem behaviors – and each set is composed of 34 items and 42 items, respectively. Based on the study, among the 3 subdomains of social skills (cooperation, interaction, and independence) only cooperation got below the average functional skills of 2.33% moderate deficit level. For the behavior problem scale (externalizing and internalizing behaviors), all factors have functional levels of average which means they are all Typical young children.

The school benefited a lot due to screening and identification of young children who have manifestations and appropriate intervention were given to those with socio – emotional problems.



Track: Social skills



Name: Raymond E. Raguindin, LPT, MA Psych, MA SpEd

School Director of Big Steps Center for Special Education and Child Development Inc.

Address: Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, Philippines

Affiliation: University of the Philippines-Diliman


OBJECTIVE: This research studied the teaching improvement of daycare workers in imitation, joint attention, and language activities using the play-based early intervention training program in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija

METHODS: Focus group discussions were developed to explore the attitude, beliefs and practices of daycare workers.

RESULTS: Findings of the study revealed that daycare workers have existing knowledge and experience in teaching children with autism. Their workshops on managing inappropriate behaviors of children with autism resulting in a general positive perception on accepting and teaching children with autism in daycare centers.

 Play-based activities were modelled and participated in by daycare workers. These include demonstration, modelling, prompting and providing social reinforcers as reward. Five lectures and five training days were done to implement the training program. Daycare workers’ levels of skill in teaching imitation, joint attention and language were gathered before and after the participation in the training program. Findings suggest significant differences between pre-test and post test scores. They have shown significant improvement in facilitating imitation, joint attention, and language children with autism after the play-based early intervention training. They were able to initiate and sustain imitation, joint attention, and language activities with adequate knowledge and confidence.


1. Existing attitude and beliefs greatly influenced the positive delivery mode of instruction.

2. Teacher-directed approach to improve attention, imitation, joint attention, and language of children with autism can be acquired by daycare workers.

3. Teaching skills and experience can be used as reference and basis for identifying future training needs.

Keywords: Early Intervention, Play, Imitation, Joint Attention, and Language

Track: Parenting/ Care-giving



1Jo Ann Andoy-Galvan, 1Sapna Shridhar Patil, 2Dr. Muhammad Aminul Syahmi bin Shobri

3Prabhagari Nair Ramalingam, 1Dr. Karuthan Chinna

1School of Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Taylor’s University,

No. 1 Jalan Taylor’s, Subang Jaya 47500, Selangor, Malaysia

2Hospital Shah Alam, Persiaran Kayangan, Seksyen 7, 40000 Shah Alam, Selangor

3Hospital Melaka, Jalan Mufti Haji Khalil, 75400 Melaka

Disability brings challenges and demands in the family and society which last for a long time.These children are often kept at home, without access to opportunities other children might have. Education is one of the most effective ways to break the cycle of discrimination and poverty. Malaysia is committed to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Teacher quality issues are among the ministry's focuses to ensure these pupils a successful education journey. This research determined the self-reported competency, level of knowledge and the teaching practices implemented by special education teachers in Program Pendidikan Khas Integrasi and Sekolah Kebangsaan Pendidikan Khas.

This cross-sectional study utilized a web-based survey to determine the level of competency, knowledge and implementation practices of primary government schoolteachers.  Virginia Skill Competency Questionnaire was adopted and translated to Bahasa Melayu, pilot tested, and content validated before distribution to special education teachers. To determine the predictors of the competency, linear regression procedures were conducted.

There were 832 teachers who completed the survey.  In all three areas, respondents rated themselves as quite competent.  Frequency of training consistently predicted competencies of the teachers (p value<0.001).  Respondents who had never attended a training course had significantly lower self-competency, lower level of knowledge and lower implementation ratings than those who had attended even one course. Also, in addition to training, level of education also significantly predicted implementation.

Investment on the trainings is highly recommended to ensure these students are provided with the quality of education they deserve.  

Keywords: teachers' competency, knowledge, practices, government, autism

Track: Parenting/ Care-giving


MRI evaluation of corpus callosum in children with ASD

Rajeev Shamsuddin Perisamy, Azian Abd Aziz, Nora Mat Zin, Taufiq Hidayat Hassan, Mohamad Shahrir Abdul Rahim

International Islamic University Malaysia Medical Centre, Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia

Objective: The main objective is to study the integrity of the corpus callosum among autistic children population in Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia. The integrity of the corpus callosum in this study is determined by Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) parameters, fractional anisotropy (FA) and radial diffusivity (RD). These parameters represent the direction dependence of water molecules diffusion within the measured tissues. As corpus callosum is saturated with brain white matter tracts, the water molecules diffusion will be direction dependent. Several previous studies involving foreign populations have shown that there is some distortion in the brain’s white matter diffusion tensor parameters in autistic population indicative of microstructural distortion. Whether similar findings will be observed in our local autistic population still remains a question. Other gross corpus callosum parameters such as its thickness, length and size are also studied. 

Method: 28 randomly selected autistic children which are under the International Islamic University Malaysia Medical Centre (IIUMMC), Kuantan follow up are subjected to MRI scan.Limited MRI sequences including DTI are obtained and analysed. Fractional anisotropy, radial diffusivity, midsagittal thickness at the genu, body and splenium of the corpus callosum as well as its midsagittal length and size are measured. The data are tabulated according to the subject’s age and statistical analysis are performed.  

Result: A weak negative correlation is found between the age (in months) and the DTI’s fractional anisotropy (FA) of the corpus callosum. Other parameters such as the thickness, length and size on the other hand show weak positive correlation with age. 

Conclusion: Although the correlation is weak, our study shows that there is evidence of distortion of corpus callosum white matter microstructure in children with autism spectrum disorder in Kuantan, Pahang. 

Track: Medicine



1Ezura Madiana Md Monoto, 1Khanimolly Embashkaran, 1Amirah Hanan Misbahudin, 1Iqbal Haziqy Ismail, 1Nazatul Nadhirah Che Omar, 1Siti Rahimah Ghazali, 1Saharuddin Ahmad

1Department of Family Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Yaacob Latif, 56000, Kuala Lumpur.


Purpose: Having children with learning disabilities (LD) gives varying impact to the quality of life (QOL) of the parents. This study examined the QOL among parents of children with LD in Malaysian online parents support groups and identifying its contributing factors.

Design/methodology/approach: We conducted a cross-sectional study using convenience sampling involving 380 parents of children with LD in 14 Malaysian online support groups. A self-administered online questionnaire was used to obtain data on sociodemographic characteristics, quality of life using WHOQOL-BREF and parental stress level using Parental Stress Scale (PSS).

Findings:  We found that a A total of 27 fathers and 353 mothers with mean age 39.17 (6.25) had good QOL across all 4 domains- physical, psychological, social relationships, and environmental with median score of 69 (IQR=25), 69 (IQR=19), 69 (IQR=25), and 69 (IQR=19) respectively. Those with tertiary education had significant good QOL in physical domain [56 (IQR=20.5), p=0.001]. Fathers Male parents[75 (IQR=25, p=0.034)] and having tertiary education [56 (IQR=25, p=0.023)] had significantly higher scores QOLin psychological domain. Married parents scored higher in social relationships domain [69 (IQR=25, p=0.026)]. Malay parents [69 (IQR=20.5, p=0.013)], being married [69 (IQR=19, p=0.026)] and having tertiary education [63 (IQR=31, p=0.003)] had higher scores in environmental domain. Parental stress had significant fair negative correlation with all 4 domains; physical (p<0.0001, r=-0.392), psychological (p<0.0001, r=-0.432), social relationships (p<0.0001, r=-0.414), environmental (p<0.0001, r=-0.421).

Research limitations/implications (if applicable): Using self-administered online questionnaire and convenience sampling technique may not represent the true population parents of children with LD in Malaysia. Attempts should be made to ensure this study is accessible to all parents of children with LD.

Practical implications (if applicable):  These findings may help healthcare providers to screen parents who may be at risk of low QOL such as single mothers, non-Malays, having lower education level and high parental stress by providing parents’ empowerment, support and intervention to improve their QOL in supporting their children with LD.

Social implications (if applicable): Parents’ empowerment and support could be provided through online parents support group. This platform will provide a social networking of sharing information and providing support to enhance their emotional and psychological well-being.

Originality/value: Online parents support group may enhance good QOL among parents of children with LD.

Keywords: Parents, stress, quality of life, learning disabilities

Track: Psychology



Khamsiah Ismail PhD


Department of Educational Psychology and Counselling

International Islamic University Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur


Babies who are not introduced to solid foods until later in the first year may have a difficult time learning to eat different textures and flavours of foods.  This was what exactly happened to Daniel, a 9-year old boy with mild ADHD, autism and dyslexia. His eating problem in relation to food or swallowing phobia was caused by experience of post traumatic feeding disorder (PTFD) which was not easy to identify as babies are preverbal and toddlers’ language development is limited. They are not able to verbalize their fears. In working with Daniel, the focus of the sessions was to identify the actual problems - the troublesome feelings and symptoms and address the current symptoms (trauma-related fears and avoidance) using cognitive restructuring and coping skills. In mapping the treatment plan, a combination of several intervention strategies was explored. This explanatory case study utilized an integrative approach which was systematically divided into four phases/theoretical approaches, which were Person-Centred Therapy, Behavioural Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Psycho-Educational Approach. Journal entry and interviews were used to document the findings. The interventions were carried out for three years. The focus of this paper is on understanding the effect of post-traumatic feeding or food phobia by connecting his thoughts, feelings and behaviour in planning the intervention strategies. Eating disorders is not a disease but it can affect every organ system in the body, and those struggling with the problem need to seek professional help. Treatment process of a child with complete food rejection problem as a result of post-traumatic feeding experience could be challenging but therapists and other professionals must trust that with patience, veracious and organized intervention, healing is possible.

Keywords: PTFD, person-centered therapy, behavioural therapy, CBT

Track: Child Development


Supporting the Reading Literacy of Children with Dyslexia

Farina Amira Mohamad Tarmizee

Mariam Adawiah Dzulkifli

Department of Psychology

International Islamic University Malaysia


In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders Fifth Edition (DSM-5), Specific Learning Disorder (SLD) is a type of neurodevelopmental disorder that inhibits reading, writing or arithmetic abilities, all of which are necessary for academic performance. Dyslexia is a common SLD that is characterised with difficulties in reading word accurately, reading fluency and reading comprehension. Works of literature have shown that with proper intervention, these difficulties can be compensated through modified learning. Along with the advancement of learning and technology, the present work is an attempt to propose a study protocol to examine the effect of using typography to help increase the reading ability of primary school-aged children with Dyslexia. In the first part of the study, the various interventions that are focused on the aspects of language such as word mastery and alphabet identification will be reviewed. Next, the study will describe a study protocol that can be used to examine the effect of using three different types of typographies namely static typography, kinetic typography and animated typography on the reading ability of the children. The study will employ a between-subjects experimental research design on 90 school-aged children with Dyslexia, age range between 7 to 12 years old.  Their reading performance, measured by looking at the reading speed and reading accuracy will be statistically analysed using Multivariate ANOVA (MANOVA). It is expected that children with Dyslexia in the kinetic and animated typography group will have a faster reading speed and lesser reading errors than the static typography group. This study also is expected to contribute to literatures on typography whose knowledge and application can improve reader engagement. It will also add to the existing treatments and interventions that can be used in teaching and learning children with SLD to optimize their learning potentials.

Keywords: Specific Learning Disorder, Dyslexia, reading literacy, typography

Track: Education




Suharsiwi ¹, ² Weny Savitry S. Pandia

¹ Islamic Faculty, University of Muhammadiyah Jakarta, Jakarta

² Psychology faculty, Atma Jaya Catholic University, Jakarta,

Teachers and parents play an important role in helping children with autism (Autism Spectrum Disorder/ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to improve their social skill. Online learning is an alternative way for teachers and parents to help that children. This study aims to analyze parents’ and teachers’ need of family-based distance learning model, so the learning models and materials fit with children with ASD and ADHD and make them learn effectively. This study was conducted qualitatively through surveys and group interviews with convenience sampling. It explored opinion of parents and teachers regarding the distance learning for the development of ASD and ADHD children's social skill; the suitability of the distance learning model for parents’ and teachers’ need; and parents’ and teachers’ opinion on themes and learning materials. For this reason, the distance learning model for social skill needs to be designed so that parents and teachers can learn about social skill independently, both at school and at home. From group interviews with 13 parents and 23 teachers, it was concluded that parents and teachers agreed and needed the learning material, namely social interaction, communication, and independence; but that learning materials needed to be improved. Recommendation was given to learning media, film storylines, and learning stages too, that are suitable on three themes namely: Let's Do It, Let's Show It, and Let's Go. The next stage is the drafting of page based on this research’s result.


Keywords: Learning model, distance learning, social skill, ASD, ADHD

Track: Social skills


Dyscalculia in Malaysian Scenario

Mohammad Amimul Ihsan Aquil, Mazeyanti Mohd. Ariffin

Universiti Teknologi Petronas , Department of Computer and Information sciences

32610 Seri Iskandar, Perak Darul Ridzuan,


Numerical skills are essential for survival and success in educational and work environment of modern world. Dyscalculia is a psychological and medical term that refers to a learning disability or extreme difficulty in learning mathematics. It has negative consequences for the children, youth and society at large. While most people are familiar with Dyslexia, dyscalculia is less well known. Dyscalculia, although a relatively newly recognized learning need, has significant implications.  About 5%-8% of children in primary schools are affected. Dyscalculia does not improve without treatment. The aim of this study is to give an overview of Dyscalculia diagnosis and intervention by selectively reviewing publications on dyscalculia using multidisciplinary approach (medicine, educational psychology, neuroscience,) in Malaysian scenario. This article reviews the diagnostic assessments and interventions in Malaysian scenario. Research evidence has shown several causal factors responsible for Dyscalculia. These are impairments in number sense also called “core deficit hypothesis”, representing and visualizing numerical magnitude from symbols, deficit associated with working memory and neurological impairment in brain. Most of those who are affected by Dyscalculia have comorbid disorders. The few interventional studies that have been published to date document the efficacy of pedagogic-therapeutic interventions and ICT based interventions. There is a great deal of inconsistency of definitions of dyscalculia within each discipline, not to mention across disciplines (i.e., educational, medical, and psychological Research and interventions evidence to alleviate dyscalculia is very scarce in Malaysia. It is extremely important to identify the current situation of Dyscalculia, its causes with research evidence and plan intervention studies for Malaysian children suffering from Dyscalculia as it will assist educators to be able to identify at-risk struggling students in mathematics and provide remedial measures so no children will be left behind. Assessments and interventions require systematic approach which is described in this article.

Keywords: Dyscalculia, mathematics learning disability, Approximate number sense, numerosity, interventions

Track: Computing



1Zuraida Ibrahim & 2Maizam Alias

1Centre of Diploma Studies, UTHM & 2Faculty of Technical and Vocational Education, UTHM

Currently, there is a need to develop a reliable and valid social skills observation instrument in monitoring the progress of social skills among students with ASD in teaching and learning within school setting. This is because positive and acceptable social skills are very important aspects for students with ASD. Moreover, students with ASD who hold a strong foundation in social skills shown an improvement in academic, independent living and social acceptance by the society. The instrument was based on structured observations and there were three steps involved: (a) instrument selection, (b) item selection, and (c) validity and reliability instrument. These steps were to ensure the development of instrument was appropriate to specifically measure the progress of social skills within specific domain namely: cognitive, social interaction, social communication, emotional intelligence and social behavior. The instrument was namely as “Social Skills for Autism Spectrum Disorder (SS-ASD)”. Accordingly, the SS-ASD was given to 2 subject experts and 1 curriculum specialist to establish content validity and face validity. Hence, the SS-ASD instrument had established construct validity through homogeneity (internal consistency) by calculating the value of Cronbach’s alpha (α) through pretest data.  Finally, the Cronbach’s Alpha value for SS-ASD was 0.986 and it was highly reliable. The SS-ASD were developed suitable for children between ages 3 to 12 years old as a criterion-based instrument. Hopefully, its help students with ASD establish proficiency in social skills that create social acceptance and independent living in the future for students with ASD.

Keywords: SS-ASD, social skills for ASD, social skills, social skills instrument and observation instrument.

Track: Social skills



1,2 Mohd Azam Abdul Halim, 2 Ahmad Kamal Mohd Natar

1 Hospital Shah Alam, Selangor, 2 Centre of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, UiTM Puncak Alam, Selangor.

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to identify the association between visual perception and handwriting readiness among children with Dyslexia.

Design/methodology/approach: A cross sectional method and quantitative approach was used in this study. One of the government Hospital located in Selangor was selected as a study site and thirty-six (n=36) children (ages 6-8 years old) who had been diagnosed as Dyslexia was recruited as respondents for this study. The Developmental Test of Visual Perception Second Edition (DTVP-2) and Shore Handwriting Screening for Early Handwriting Development (SHS) assessment was used.

Findings: There was significant correlation between SHS and age (p<0.04) and the higher score of median is aged 8 years old (Med=87). There was no significant between SHS and gender, parent’s education and job status. The most significant correlation between DTVP-2 domains and gender is the visual motor speed domain (p<0.00, r=0.001). No significant correlation between DTVP-2 domains and age. A significant high positive correlation coefficient between SHS and DTVP-eye hand coordination (ρ= 0.763, p<0.00) and moderate positive correlation between SHS and DTVP- visual motor speed (ρ= 0.585, p<0.00) and copying skills (ρ= 0.684, p<0.00).

Originality/value: The positive results indicate the importance of three main domains in visual perception skills such as visual motor speed, eye hand coordination and copying skills should be focused by OTs when assessing and treated client with Dyslexia. Despite this, handwriting readiness should develop first before children master with visual perception skills according to age.

Keywords: Visual Perception, Handwriting Readiness, Dyslexia, Developmental Test of Visual Perception-2, Shore Handwriting, Occupational Therapy

Track: Child Development


Autism Spectrum Disorder Classification using Deep Learning

1Abdulrazak Yahya Saleh, Lim Huey Chern

1 Faculty of Cognitive Science and Human Development, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia

Purpose: This research aims to use deep learning algorithm to classify the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) images. The objective of this research is to pre-process the ASD dataset, apply deep learning for ASD and to evaluate the effectiveness of algorithm based on accuracy performance.

Design/methodology/approach: This research applies the Convolutional Neural Network (CNN) as deep learning algorithm to improve the accuracy performance. This research links the deep learning and the autism spectrum disorder and first carried out using the CNN algorithm which known as deep learning to classify the ASD and non ASD images.

Findings: This study achieves the accuracy with 97.07% as the highest accuracy with which much better than previous research.

Originality/value: This research proves that the CNN algorithm as deep learning is better to do classification the ASD compared with SVM algorithm which as the machine learning.

Keywords: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Deep Learning, Classification

Track: Computing


Non-Medical Therapy with Mono Aural Beats Music for Improving Student Learning Concentration in Extraordinary Schools Autisms (ESA) Universitas Negeri Malang Indonesia

Mohamad Amin1), Suryadi2), Ihya Fakhrurizal Amin3), Kodama Yayoi4), Dina Maulina5) , Asep Sunandar6), Indriyani Rachman7)

1Department of Biology, Faculty of Mathematics and Sciences, Universitas Negeri Malang, Indonesia

2 Department of Early Education, Faculty of Education, Universitas Negeri Malang, Indonesia

3Faculty of Medicine, University of Indonesia, Indonesia

4Faculty of Humanities, The University of Kitakyushu, Japan

5Department of Chemistry, UNS Surakarta, Indonesia

6Biology Education, Faculty of Teacher Training and Education, University of Lampung, Indonesia

7Department of Life and Environment Engineering, Faculty of Environmental Engineering, University of Kitakyushu, Japan

*Corresponding author: a)

Research with music therapy is carried out in order to obtain non-medical alternative therapies for students, that they are better prepared to learn to live independently. Special needs students are generally characterized by a decrease in the level of intelligence, the ability to learn to concentrate needs to be improved. One of the Indonesia research agendas is the development of a social dimension including education for children with special needs. Relevant to the agenda, one of the major themes from the fields of science and education is solving the problem of education for autistic people through music therapy. Universitas Negeri Malang has an Autistic Extraordinary School, which in time will become a vehicle for educating the independence of autisms children through learning behavior therapy. The method of conducting research was carried out with following stages: preparation of music frequencies before learning, implementation of music during learning with the Single Subject Research technique and the development of musical frequency innovation to increase the concentration and learning behavior of autistic students at ESA Universitas Negeri Malang. The results showed, non medical therapy with mono aural bead music can increase the focus of learning for autistic students by continuously giving music treatment starting from the preparation of learning, the implementation of the test until after the test. Increased ability to focus can be seen from the speed of doing the task given to all levels of autism (low, medium, high). an increase in the speed of working on the questions for each level reached an average of almost 55 seconds faster for low level autism, 40 seconds for medium level autism and 30 seconds for high level (from the maximum time given for 2 minutes) of each item worked on the questions given after treatment with music while students worked on the questions.

Keywords: autisms, learning concentration, monaural beads music

Track: Therapeutic Activities


Culture,  joint attention and emergence of language in children with autism

1Wong Tze Peng

1School of Education, University of Nottingham Malaysia

2Low Hui Min

2School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia

3Julien Mayor

3Department of Psychology, University of Oslo

Purpose: To date, the effectiveness of joint-attention based interventions for children with autism is primarily established from mainstream cultures in Western countries. Extending the findings from previous studies on cultural differences in mother-child interactions, we hypothesise that the use of joint-attention based strategies in parents of children with autism is culture-specific. This study examines the relationship between cultural beliefs, joint attention, and the quality of interaction in mother-child interactions of preschool children with autism.

Design/methodology/approach: 42 Malay mothers from Malaysia and their children aged between two and five years old who have either a diagnosis or a provisional diagnosis of autism, participated in the study. The mothers completed a questionnaire about their beliefs in interacting with their young children. We video recorded play interactions between each mother-child dyad using the Communication Play Protocol (Adamson, Bakeman, Deckner & Nelson, 2012) and rated the children’s joint attention and expressive language, and the mothers’ interactional styles using the Joint Engagement Rating Inventory (Adamson, et. al, 2012). The children’s social communication levels were also obtained using a Malay translated and adapted version of the Language Use Inventory (O’Neill, 2009).

Findings: We found significant correlations between language related joint attention skill, and language and social communication skills.  The mothers use of scaffold and contingent conversational practices were not correlated with cultural aspects but with their children's language understanding.

Research limitations/implications (if applicable): This study is limited by its sample size. Future studies will benefit from larger sample size.

Practical implications (if applicable): The findings provide preliminary support for the use of joint-attention based intervention for parents and children in Malaysia. The role of culture is limited to the process of equipping parents with the effective scaffolding and conversational practices.

Originality/value: This study adds the elements of culture to existing understanding about joint attention and language facilitation for children with autism.

Keywords: Joint-attention, culture, autism

Track : Parenting/ Care-giving



1Marini Othman, 2Takumi Sase, 3Syariffanor Hisham, 4Abdul Wahab and 5Hamwira Yaacob

1,2,4,5Kulliyyah of Information and Communication Technology

International Islamic University Malaysia

53100 Jalan Gombak, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

2RIKEN Centre for Brain Science Institute

2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama 351-0198, Japan

3Faculty of Information and Communication Technology

Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka

76100 Durian Tunggal, Melaka, Malaysia

Purpose: Exploring, accepting and managing unique Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) traits are challenging. Mainstream school settings may not cater to individual differences, prompting researches and applications in ADHD coping mechanism for the past decade. Game-based neurofeedback cognitive training is a well-established approach in ADHD, but lacking generalization matching digital games design. Thus, the aim of this work is to propose an intervention framework for ADHD children using neurofeedback (NF).

Design/methodology/approach: Previous systematic reviews on neurofeedback cognitive training and digital games design forms the intervention framework. Also, EEG experiments was performed on children participants with ADHD symptoms and a control group, as identified using the Vanderbilt questionnaire. Resting state EEG for pre- and post-assessment

was analyzed.

Findings: Analysis on the EEG samples showed reduced theta/beta ratio (TBR) in ADHD.

Research limitations/implications (if applicable): A larger dataset is needed for future


Originality/value: The main contribution of our work is the integration of various elements

in pedagogy, digital games mechanics and NF research quality characteristics for the intervention of ADHD children.

Keywords: Inattention, coping mechanism, game design, generalization

Track: Computing



Sarah Aurelia Saragih1*, Marissa Fransiska Moeliono2

1Undergraduate Program Faculty of Psychology/ Padjadjaran University, Indonesia

2Department of Developmental Psychology/ Padjadjaran University, Indonesia



Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a form of developmental disorders that require special attention, especially from the mother. Mothers with ASD children have a high level of stress so that they need social support, especially from their husbands, so they can have the struggle to take care of their children. This research was conducted to find out whether there is a relationship between social support from husbands and resilience held by mothers with ASD children. Measurement of social support using the measuring instrument Pradana (2016) based on the theory of the Social Provision Scale from Weiss (1974) and measurement of resilience using the measuring instrument of resilient quotient (Reivich & Shatte, 2002). Participants as many as 30 mothers who brought their children to therapy at a child growth and development clinic in the city of Bandung, Indonesia using total sampling. The results of this study indicate that there is a significant positive relationship between social support of the husband and the resilience of the mother and child ASD (r = 0.663; p = 0.000, significant at L.o.S 0.01). The higher the support given by the husband to the mother, the mother will have a high struggle in caring for children. In addition, the dimension that most influences resilience is guidance, so it is important for husbands to give guidance to mothers with ASD children in care.

Keywords: husband's social support, resilience, mothers with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Track: Psychology




Nor Azrita Mohamed Zain1, Hilary Gardner2, Tom Muskett3

1 Department of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology, Kulliyyah of Allied Health

Sciences, International Islamic University Malaysia, 25200 Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia

2Department of Human Communication Science, University of Sheffield, United


3Leeds School of Social Sciences, Leeds Beckett University, United Kingdom

*Corresponding author email:

The ability to participate in reciprocal, social interactions has been reported as impaired

or atypical in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). In particular, difficulty in

establishing joint engagement with another person has been a characteristic highlighted in

ASD population. Using conversation analysis approach, this study examined 10-hourdata

collected from play interactions involving Malay-speaking children with ASD aged

between 3;0 to 6;11 and their mothers. The children’s (in)competencies in responding to

joint engagement initiations were studied by analyzing the interactions turn by turn. The

findings showed that, despite obvious atypicalities in their bodily behaviors and language

use, children with ASD demonstrated capabilities in producing fitted responses to their

mother’s engagement initiations – and were treated as such by the communicative partner

- thus allowing the interaction to continue. The results further showed the usefulness of

CA to be used as an analysis method in investigating and understanding atypical


Keywords: Joint engagement, autism spectrum disorders, Conversation Analysis

Track: Social Skills



Musa Bin Mohd Rofei and Aslina Baharum

user Experience Research Lab (UXRL), Faculty of Computing and Informatics, Universiti Malaysia Sabah


The mobile application technology provides an environment in the appropriate field of education in learning activities outside the classroom. Learning using mobile phones can further expand the scope of learning within the world of education. This concept has gained attention and can help the future in the world of education. Thus, one work framework of game application development can help children of autism in their learning. There are many mobile game applications in the present but are quite limited for children with autism. Thus, the framework will implement several guidelines, and features of the app that have been identified through the EEG tool will be applied to the development of this application. User Centered Design will be used as a methodology development, and study question and assessment questions will be used in this study to identify user characteristics. This study would help children with autism during learning and indirectly contribute to the world of education, especially in Malaysia.

Key Words: development, application, game, autism, EEG

Track: Computing


Gamified Learning Framework for Identifying The Learning Potential in Autistic Children - A Preliminary Study

Norshikin Zainal Abidin and Aslina Baharum

User Experience Research Lab (UXRL), Faculty of Computing and Informatics, Universiti Malaysia Sabah


“Gamification” is a concept of the use of any gaming elements into non-gaming context to bring various purposes. The gamification has evolved with the technology that leads to the larger scale, new tools and connect to larger audience. The effective intervention of gamification has proven can easily approach children including with any brain disorder. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurobehavioral condition that affects the language developmental, communication skills and the social interaction of children. Regardless on the disabilities, researchers have concluded that some of the autistic children has hidden potential. However, the problem to the researcher is how to identify the skill or their potential, because the autistic children tend to respond differently with the test that used to be test in normal children. The objectives of this research are to identify the potential in autistic children using the gamification framework and to come out with the instrument to justify the research.

Key Words: Gamification, autism, children, learning

Track: Computing


Personalised Mobile Technology for Supporting the Development of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

1Muhammad Haziq Lim Abdullah, 2Nor Farah Naquiyah Daud and 3Tan Shin Wey

1 2 3Centre for Advanced Computing Technology

Fakulti Teknologi Maklumat dan Komunikasi

Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka

Hang Tuah Jaya, Melaka, Malaysia,, b0316100300@


Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) typically face challenges in communication and social interaction, with restricted sensory abilities and repetitive behaviour. The provision to support children with ASD is challenged by their unique characteristics and complexities. Further, many countries have poorly structured guidelines for support or use of intervention services that are not integrated, and there is a shortage of educational and healthcare professionals to sustain interventions for children with ASD. Personalised mobile technology holds great promise for better support and service of children with ASD; they can profile abilities, encourage and track development, and potentially enable better individualised interventions to support each child. This study explored how personalised mobile technology to support the development of children with ASD between home and school in three difference case study, by designing, implementing and evaluating a mobile application. The study also developed methods of engaging children with ASD that focus around their own motivations, activities and interests, therefore supporting the development of each individual child. The mobile technology application was evaluated with twelve teachers, ten parents and forty-six children with ASD. This study found that mobile technology application was successfully used by parents and teachers to better understand both a child’s behaviour and the activities in which they engaged across settings. The significance of the research is to present a new, collaborative model of parent-child-teacher interactions, using a personalised mobile technology to support children with ASD between home and school.

Keywords: Mobile Technology, Autism, Development, Children

Track: Computing



1Mohd Hafiz Zakaria, 2Muhammad Haziq Lim Abdullah, 3Syariffanor Hisham

1,2,3 Centre of Advanced Computing Technology (C-ACT), Faculty of Information and Communication Technology, Universiti Teknikal Malaysia Melaka, Melaka

Dyslexics find printed information to be hard to understand and this might contribute to low academic performance. The common myth about dyslexia is it will be outgrown and eventually the person will be able to cope with this learning difficulties. Therefore, many young adults did not get appropriate intervention during their early age and struggling with this lifetime condition. Adults with dyslexia are prone to depression and many of them having difficulty steering through their adulthood life including employability, relationship and social stigma. Sistem Saringan Disleksia Bahasa Melayu (DiME) was developed as an instrument to assist psychology officer at community college in screening their students who are potentially having dyslexia. Based on the preliminary study conducted at a community college in Melaka, the ratio of young adults with dyslexia is 1:14. DiME offers three main features, which are; dyslexia checklist scores, recorded reading time and reading competency level. DiME can help user to know the level of the reading materials that they read. It has incorporated cloud technology in monitoring users’ usage and engagement with the application. The cloud feature also provides the researchers with analytics data that is crucial for future scholarly activities such as publications and improvement of related innovation pertaining to people with dyslexia in Malaysia. DiME is the first online readability test tool in Malay language potentially beneficial for people with reading difficulties.

Keyword: Young adult dyslexic, readability score, screening

Track: Computing



Lisfatul Fatinah, S.Pd1, Nunur Nuraeni, S.Pd2

1London School Center for Autism Awareness, Jl. K.H Mas Mansyur, Kav. 35, Jakarta, 10220, Indonesia

2London School Beyond Academy, Jl. K.H Mas Mansyur, Kav. 35, Jakarta, 10220, Indonesia

*Corresponding author e-mail:

As an adult, individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) need support to develop their relationship skills, such as learning about relationship skills, practicing relationship skills they learned, and getting encourage from their environment to practice them. The learning environment itself is not only about the classroom but whole school system as well.  In the London Beyond Academy (LSBA), its learning environment has an opened-learning space where the seats of teachers and staffs are arranged in the opened space. This study attempts to explore the phenomenology of opened-learning space in LSBA and its relevance to relationship skills development on adult with ASD. This study is conducted using a qualitative phenomenological in-depth interview methodology and collecting data through interviews, observation, and documentation. The study sample conducted seven adults with ASD, three teachers, and three staffs in LSBA. The findings confirm the promise of opened-learning space for increasing relationship skills development on adult with ASD. By applying the opened-learning space, students have no gap to communicate and socialize with teachers and staffs as their support team, also teachers and staffs are able to encourage students to practice their relationship skills.

Keywords: opened-learning space, relationship skills, adult with ASD

Track: Social skills



Jamaica S. Fueconcillo, MD

Department of Pediatrics, Capitol Medical Center Scout Magbanua corner Panay Avenue, Quezon City, Philippines

Purpose: To determine the effect of Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) supplementation when used with Aripiprazole on the irritability of children aged 6-17 years old with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Methodology: We conducted a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled study in private clinics. Forty-six subjects aged 6-17 years old diagnosed with ASD by DSM-V criteria manifesting with irritability symptoms as assessed by Aberrant Behavior Checklist Irritability subscale (ABC-I) undergoing treatment with Aripiprazole for at least 1 month were included. Subjects were randomized into either Group A who received 400 mg DHA and Aripiprazole or Group B who received placebo and Aripiprazole for 3 months. Parents/guardians were asked to accomplish the pre- and post- treatment ABC-I. Mean difference in pre- and post- treatment ABC-I scores were compared between the 2 groups.

Findings: There was a significant improvement in the pre- and post- treatment ABC-I scores in Group A (p value=0.003) while there was no significant improvement in the pre- and post- treatment scores in Group B (p value=0.11). However, the improvement seen in ABC-I scores in Group A is not statistically significant when compared to Group B. (p value=0.50).

Research limitations: The obtained sample size is limited which widened the confidence interval and increased the margin of error. It is recommended to conduct the study with larger sample size.

Originality: There are no local studies done in the Philippines investigating the effect of DHA on the irritability of children with ASD.

Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder, Docosahexaenoic acid, Aripiprazole

Track: Medicine



Jaima Saif Sumaiya, Afsara Tasnim, Oranti Ahmed Omi, Tanzim Ferdous Toma, Fariha Mahzabin Annesha, Feiroz Humayara


Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a set of neurodevelopmental disorders that is characterized by complex behavioral phenotype, deficits in social and cognitive functions and limited or stereotypic behavior patterns. The exact etiology of autism is yet to be determined, and it is considered as a multi-factorial disorder consisting of genetic and environmental factors, immunological and neuronal factors. In this study we aim to look at the neuropathology of autism by characterizing the T-helper cells (Th1, Th2, Th17) through measuring the alteration of cytokines and transcription factor in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMC) of autistic children compared to healthy children in context of Bangladesh. PBMC was collected via the Ficoll approach, activated by PMA, ionomycin, brefeldin-A and was analyzed by flow cytometry to measure the percentage of IFN-ƴ, IL-4, IL-17 (cytokines) and their corresponding transcription factors T-bet, GATA-3, RORγt in CD4 + T cells. Our study showed elevated level of IFN-γ and T-bet, no significant change in IL-4, IL-17, GATA-3, RORγt when compared to healthy individuals. This data suggests that Th2 and Th17 levels are unaltered in our autistic study population but significant increase of T-bet expression promote Th1 cell differentiation and thus increase of inflammatory cytokine, IFN- ƴ. Autism has no effective treatment yet, the findings of this study might shed some light on the avoidance of this untreatable disease and open new doors for further study. Pregnant women can check IFN- ƴ. If the test results exhibit an elevated level of IFN- ƴ beyond threshold, then an immunological therapy might be developed in order to decrease IFN- ƴ level to normal.

Track: Biomedical