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Young Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Strategies that Work

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Abstract

Five types of autism are recognized under autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The author discusses the major characteristics associated with autism and offers some simple strategies for helping children with autism function in preschool settings.

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... Compared with the general population, children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) tend to have deficits in adaptive skills, which makes novel environments such as an airport very difficult to manage [11,12], and the airport experience for a child with ASD and their family can therefore be overwhelming [10]. Without appropriate preparation, going through an airport and boarding an aircraft can be unpredictable and anxiety-provoking for both the child with ASD and their family [13]. There is therefore an onus on public health officials, airport operators, and airline companies to respond quickly with a design of airport experiences for all. ...
... Travel is a complex practice that requires an understanding of the related embodied experience within the travel planning process [14] and continues to pose numerous challenges for passengers with mobility or non-mobility disabilities [15]. As a result, awareness programmes, such as Open Days, have emerged in the airport context to provide parents with the opportunity to see whether their child is able to successfully negotiate the demands of the air travel process and in what specific areas their child may require additional time, support, and preparation [6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16]. At the same time, these programmes are intended to improve airport staff's knowledge of travellers with ASD. ...
... Each post-airport experience survey took 30 min and was recorded in full. The questions were based on previous studies in the literature [8][9][10][11][12][13][14] on accessibility and inclusive resources in the airport context. The questions aimed to explore the participants' perceptions of the critical encounters or touchpoints throughout the airport visit experience. ...
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The literature on air travellers with psychiatric disorders is limited. This perspective article highlights various travel-related aspects of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The airport experience can be stressful for families of children with autism spectrum disorder (FwASDs). The aim of this study was to explore the airport experience of FwASDs using the value co-creation process approach to assist airport managers in designing improved experiences for this specific passenger segment. This study responds to the current climate in which airports are developing awareness programmes in relation to children who require special assistance at airports. The prevalence of children with ASD is 1/68. While a number of airports throughout the world have adopted procedures addressing the needs of those with cognitive impairment, these advances are far from universal. As part of an academic–industry collaboration between Vueling airlines and the Spanish airport operator Aena, 25 FwASDs took part in an inclusive airport research project in the city of Barcelona from November 2015 to April 2016. Employing a qualitative methodology that incorporated focus groups, ethnographic techniques, and post-experience surveys, the study contributes to extending the body of knowledge on the management of the value co-creation process for challenging passenger segments within the airport context. The study explains how ensuring adequate resource allocation to this passenger segment can improve the family-inclusive design of the airport experience and offers managerial recommendations.
... According to Wikipedia, Autism is a brain development disorder characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. ASD is a broad-based term under which there are five recognized types of Autism (Willis, 2009), where Asperger Syndrome which affects the cognitive and language development of a child and PDD-NOS are two of the examples. The term spectrum is used because the characteristics of the disorder occur along a continuum, with severe symptoms at one end and very mild behaviors at the other (Willis, 2009). ...
... ASD is a broad-based term under which there are five recognized types of Autism (Willis, 2009), where Asperger Syndrome which affects the cognitive and language development of a child and PDD-NOS are two of the examples. The term spectrum is used because the characteristics of the disorder occur along a continuum, with severe symptoms at one end and very mild behaviors at the other (Willis, 2009). ...
... Although children with ASD may have adequate expressive language, sometimes beyond their years, receptive language may be compromised (Friedlander, 2008). Generally, children with ASD display in varying degrees some or all of the following behaviors: obsession with specific objects, such as collecting forks or having an attachment to a piece of cloth; prolonged interest in common occurrences; adherence to rituals; and repetitive behaviors like hand flapping (Willis, 2009). A significant problem for many students who have ASD is transition from one activity to another or within the same activity (Peck & Scarpati, 2009). ...
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The objective of the study is to examine the cognitive ability of children with learning disabilities (LD) who were involved in the PDKNet education program. The children involved in this study are made up of children with learning disabilities (LD). A total of 106 children from 7 Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) Centre in Malacca took part in this study. The instrument used in this study is divided into 5 main basic categories which consisted of the ability to identify computer hardwares, alphabets, words, colours and shapes. The findings of the study indicated that more than half of the children with learning disabilities (LD) were able to identify components of a computer such as monitor, keyboard and mouse. More than half of the LD children were also able to recognize and pronounce words and alphabets. However, they face difficulties in reading and writing the respected words as well as having difficulties in providing examples for the shapes asked. Therefore, teaching children especially children with learning disabilities should be given more attention to help them to read and to write.
... These symptoms occur before the child turns 3 years old. 1 Thus, autism is defined as a spectrum disorder because children with autism have attributes that fall within the range from very moderate to very severe. 2 Some autistic children have difficulty doing their daily life activities, but the level of difficulty experienced by children varies depending on the level of autism, age and parental factor. The higher the level of education parents have, the more prominent and better the use of the selfcare system applied by parents. ...
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Parents have an important role in supervising and directing their autistic teenagers while carrying out daily routines at home so they can become independent teens. The purpose of this case study is to provide an overview of how teenagers with autism carry out their daily activities and what their daily activities are at home. Data collection methods used in this study were in-depth interviews and observations. The results of this study indicate that teenagers with autism are involved by parent in carrying out daily activities at home such as folding clothes, cleaning the kitchen floor, and washing rice and vegetables while at the same time parent accompany, supervise and guide her daughter. Very important for mother to teaches and trains her autistic teenager in daily living activities at home to be independent.
... Investigating autism spectrum disorders, the specific needs of people with autism and their capabilities, and most importantly, the careful examination of past studies led us to determine that educating this spectrum of people, especially at an earlier age, and considering the specific needs of this group can have a positive effect on their growth and development. Thus, if we make small steps in the field of effective education for autistic people, it will be useful for future generations to provide more complete activities (Willis, 2010). ...
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This study was conducted with a pre-test-post-test design with a control group in which participants were divided into two experimental (ten persons) and control (ten persons) groups. The Smile 1 intervention took place in 16 sessions of 30 min, which consisted of eight sessions of 1 h owing to the time spent by the parents of the participants in the study. Additionally, a Child Behaviour Check List (CBCL) was used to measure the effectiveness of this interventional game on reducing the behavioural problems of children that participated. The questionnaire consists of 113 questions in which 13 different behavioural factors are identified in the children. For this purpose, pre-test and post-test stages were performed for both groups. In fact, due to time constraints for holding intervention sessions, it was expected from the outset that significant changes in participant behaviour during the two months of interventions would not be observed.
... We prompted the participants to discuss the socialising benefits of inclusive education for autistic children. Several authors including Hansen (2004) and Willis (2006) argued that in an inclusive setting playing with peers such as sharing, taking turns and forming friendships provides natural opportunities for autistic children to learn to play. Similarly, Odom and Bailey (2001) cited a body of research that has shown that autistic children participate in more advanced forms of play with normal children than when joining in play with other children with disabilities. ...
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There is a lack of information on early childhood inclusive education and the parental perspectives towards the inclusion of autistic children in Kuwait. The aim of this study was to explore the perspectives and experiences amongst mothers of young autistic children regarding the inclusion of their children in general education kindergarten settings. Focus group and individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with (n = 34) Kuwaiti mothers of children with (ASD). The study participants were of the opinion that the behaviours unique to (ASD) can only be managed in highly structured special education settings. The themes that emerged from the interviews demonstrate that the general view amongst the study participants is that the inclusive educational model will not meet the autistic children’s needs.
... This is possible because Child A had to adjust first to the intervention instrument before understanding it well, as in line to Willis's statement that a child needs adjustment before being able to accept change in their daily routine. 14 The average ability of Child A in performing oral hygiene in the intervention phase is 28.5. This shows an increasing tendency in the ability of Child A's oral hygiene performance from the baseline phase to the intervention phase. ...
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Autism is a developmental disorder in children that now affects 1 : 88 children in the world. As many as 50% of school-age children with autism face difficulty in independently performing oral hygiene. This research seeks to increase the ability of children with autism in performing oral hygiene through the use of photographs. The methodology of the research is quantitative quasi-experimental through the single subject design. The three research subjects are school-age children with autism, and their parents also participated in this research. Intervention is conducted through a series of photographs on the steps in performing oral hygiene after the ability trend in the baseline phase is observed. Assessment in the ability of performing oral hygiene is done in the baseline, intervention, maintenance, and generalization phases. The result is that the ability to perform oral hygiene for Children A, B, and C increases from 14, 21, and 22 to 30, 31, and 30. The ability to perform oral hygiene for the three children increases after intervention and settles in the generalization phase.
... Smith Myles and colleagues also note that early intervention is advantageous for children with autism. Although children with autism are individuals with characteristics that vary, pedagogical and classroom management strategies that can help them include: predictable daily routines and verbal reminders; visual and tactile aids; careful reinforcement of learning; restriction of distractions in the environment and controlled sensory input (such as a quiet corner); as well as inclusion of their interests in learning activities (Smith Myles et al., 2009; Willis, 2009). As will be seen, the two interventions reported in this article take into account these strategies. ...
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The purpose of this article is to describe two case studies of classroom-based teaching interventions, conducted by final-year pre-service teachers, which were successful in assisting young children with autism engage in and learn literacy through the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). The 10-day interventions were carried out as part of a two-year Master of Teaching course at an Australian university, and were designed to identify specific learning needs in young children, and then implement targeted interventions. The two cases described here show how ICTs were successfully used to create multimodal texts to support the literacy learning and engagement of young children with autism. The first case involved an intervention that employed two iPad apps—which were not intended specifically for children with autism—to support the literacy learning and engagement of a five-year-old. The second case involved the use of Microsoft PowerPoint on a laptop to develop multimodal non-fiction texts to improve an eight-year-old’s attitude to, and engagement with, reading. Each intervention was found to be effective in improving the participating child’s literacy achievement and engagement. Each used multisensory and student-centred approaches that acknowledged the children’s strengths and interests, with ICTs being used to transform teaching and learning tasks. This article illustrates the successful drawing together of pre-service teachers’ technological, pedagogical and content knowledge (TPACK), as well as their knowledge of the children concerned, to devise evidence-based interventions using ICTs to assist young children with autism to engage in, and learn, literacy.
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This qualitative research explored the knowledge, self-efficacy, and comfort of general education teachers supporting learners with high-functioning autism (HFA) in the mainstream classroom and their thoughts on related teacher professional development experiences and needs. 5 primary teachers from 5 different Ontario school boards participated in in-person, semi-structured interviews. 3 main findings emerged out of the data: (1) familiarity with students with HFA had a positive impact on teachers and students, which related to increased teacher self-efficacy and understanding of learners with HFA, changes to practice, and benefits to peers and other staff, with participants who had taught the greatest numbers of students with HFA reporting higher confidence ratings and demonstrating more knowledge of HFA; (2) systemic barriers impacted teachers’ ability to support all students, such as inadequate teacher preparation, inaccessibility of services, interventions, and physical and personnel resources; and (3) teachers envisioned their ideal professional development (PD) to support teacher learning, which included what they wanted to learn about HFA, factors increasing or decreasing the likelihood of their participation, as well as preferred characteristics and formats of PD, with all teachers underscoring the importance of opportunities to collaborate and problematize relevant classroom concerns with colleagues. Implications for teacher education programs and ongoing professional development for teachers, as well as potential directions for future research, are presented.
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Objectives: This applied research is the first practical study of teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) to students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in Iran. We examined the effect of a well-designed foreign language learning setting in facilitation of social skills and willingness to communicate in children with ASD. Materials & methods: A mixed-method research design was used. Using stratified sampling, a limited sample of 18 students were chosen from Kerman Province, southeastern Iran in 2014 categorized in three levels of ASD for each group of experimental and control; matched pairs were used to ensure homogeneity of participants in two groups. Each participant received 15 sessions with totaling 67 h of language learning. First 10 sessions were in the form of tutorials and the last 5 sessions were held in the form of paired classes with a peer. Before and after the sessions, caregivers and parents completed a questionnaire on students' social skills; the English instructor also rated participants' willingness to communicate. Results: Teaching a foreign language had a positive main effect on social skills from caregivers' and parents' view compared to those of controls, significantly (P<0.05). From the instructor's view, there was additionally a significant improvement in the students with ASD's willingness to communicate in classroom settings compared to the control group (P<0.05). Conclusion: Optimum foreign language pedagogy for students with ASD is applied as an effective context enhancing children's capabilities in social skills and willingness to communicate, provoked through a motivational foreign setting modulation in a novel environment. Suggestions on enhancing joint attention during the curriculum are provided.
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Objectives This applied research is the first practical study of teaching English as a foreign language (EFL) to students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in Iran. We examined the effect of a well-designed foreign language learning setting in facilitation of social skills and willingness to communicate in children with ASD. Materials & Methods A mixed-method research design was used. Using stratified sampling, a limited sample of 18 students were chosen from Kerman Province, southeastern Iran in 2014 categorized in three levels of ASD for each group of experimental and control; matched pairs were used to ensure homogeneity of participants in two groups. Each participant received 15 sessions with totaling 67 h of language learning. First 10 sessions were in the form of tutorials and the last 5 sessions were held in the form of paired classes with a peer. Before and after the sessions, caregivers and parents completed a questionnaire on students’ social skills; the English instructor also rated participants’ willingness to communicate. Results Teaching a foreign language had a positive main effect on social skills from caregivers’ and parents’ view compared to those of controls, significantly (P<0.05). From the instructor’s view, there was additionally a significant improvement in the students with ASD’s willingness to communicate in classroom settings compared to the control group (P<0.05). Conclusion Optimum foreign language pedagogy for students with ASD is applied as an effective context enhancing children’s capabilities in social skills and willingness to communicate, provoked through a motivational foreign setting modulation in a novel environment. Suggestions on enhancing joint attention during the curriculum are provided. Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder; English; Social skills; Willingness to communicate
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Since autistic children suffers from learning disabilities and communication barriers, this research aim to design, develop and evaluate an Android based mobile application (app) providing better learning environment with inclusion of graphical representation in a cost effective manner. This research evaluate various supporting technologies and finds Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) to be better choice for integrating with the app. Evaluation results reveal that the inclusion of PECS helped the children suffering from Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to better communicate with others. The study included autistic children who do not speak, who are unintelligible and who are minimally effective communicators with their present communication system. The evolution results showed encouraging impacts of the Autism App in supporting autistic children to adapt to normal life and improve the standard of their life.
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The present study examines the effect of visual scaffolding on promoting number sense skills (including number recognition, counting, ordinality, comparison, and calculation) of Egyptian autistic children mainstreamed in kindergartens. The participants were five autistic children, enrolled in the second level of kindergarten (ages 5–6). Kindergarten Inventory of number sense was developed by the author in light of relevant previous studies. Pre- and post-tests were administered to participants. In between the two tests, the study group engaged in visual scaffolding activities designed to improve their number sense, using a strategy including a combination of scaffolding techniques integrated with multiple types of visual representations. A follow-up test was administered to the study group eight weeks after the completion of the activities. The findings suggest that children in the study group have higher number sense levels in the post-test, compared to pre-test, and they maintained the high levels in the follow-up test.
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Saudi Arabia (Saudi) and the United States (U.S.) both have procedures in place for identifying and serving individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in the general classroom setting. To determine differences in teachers’ attitude towards autism in Saudi and the U.S., data were gathered, compared, and contrasted from both general education and special education teachers in both countries. The Autism Attitude Scale for Teachers (AAST) is a brief assessment of teacher beliefs that was used in this research. Results indicated significant differences in responses between the Saudi and U.S. teachers on 10 of 14 questions asked concerning teacher attitudes towards students with autism. Although the educational regulations governing autism in Saudi schools were introduced and modeled after U.S. legislation (Alquraini, 2012), teachers in Saudi tend to teach students with autism separately and not in an inclusive environment. The negative responses gathered through the survey seemed to relate to a fear of possible problem behavior from students and insufficient awareness of the characteristics of autism. Recommendations were made for additional exploration into teacher training using various technology applications.
Chapter
Transitions are a source of anxiety and stress for many individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Transitions can involve both big changes, as children move into and out of school (vertical), and more frequent transitions between activities or environments (horizontal). This chapter describes how parents can utilise the Cycle of Learning to help their children manage different transitions in their lives. Sheila’s story is presented to demonstrate how one mother worked with her son and a team of educators and service providers to create and implement a transition plan to support her son and develop his skills as he transitioned into high school and prepared to move between classes. Research on key components of transition planning is presented, and strategies for supporting students are suggested. Finally, Sheila’s vertical and horizontal transition plans are provided as an example of steps and strategies that parents can use to support their children with ASD.
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