PROBLEM: Currently, most research related to parents of children with autism has focused on mothers, and little is known about the fathers' interaction with their children.
PURPOSE: The purpose of the qualitative study is to assist in more fully describing and understanding fathers' perceptions of their roles, relationships with their children with autism, and participation in an in-home training intervention designed to enhance parent–child interactions as well as child language and social interactions.
METHODS: In depth semi-structured interviews with 10 fathers were conducted at home, videotaped, transcribed, and reviewed for common themes and significant statements
FINDINGS: Five common themes were discovered, fathers expressed their view of their roles, and fathers reported the father-directed in-home intervention was effective in enhancing father–child relationships.
CONCLUSION: Communication between fathers and their children appears to be the key to a successful relationship. Although verbal communication deficit is a predominant feature of autism, these fathers noted other ways of effective communicating including time spent playing or just being with the child.