Advances in Autism : 2019 - Issue 4

vendredi 6 septembre 2019

1. McCarthy J. Editorial. Advances in Autism. 2019 ; 5(4) : 225-.

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2. Sciberras C. Applying a SWOT analysis to inform educational provision of learners on the autism spectrum. Advances in Autism. 2019 ; 5(4) : 226-30.

Purpose Requests for increased support within mainstream school settings within the field of autism tend to take place across most international educational scenarios. In light of such recommendation, the purpose of this paper is to outline how the implementation of a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis within educational settings might be beneficial in order to improve the support provided for learners on the autism spectrum (AS).Design/methodology/approach Although a SWOT analysis framework is generally carried out in corporate domains for companies and firms to investigate their competitive impact within the marketplace so as to develop future concepts, this analysis structure may also be usefully applied within educational settings so as to inform practice.Findings If implemented in an effective manner, a SWOT analysis will potentially provide a comprehensive synopsis of the issues and concerns which are relevant for considering and evolving the provision of support for students. Indeed, it will enable educational environments to enhance their strengths so as to increase appropriate opportunities and address the weaknesses within their services in order to potentially overcome their barriers and enhance the quality of life of learners on the spectrum.Originality/value This paper includes the viewpoint of the author in relation to a SWOT analysis so as to inform practice for learners on the AS.

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3. Chandran H. Effectiveness of video assisted teaching on knowledge, attitude and practice among primary caregivers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Advances in Autism. 2019 ; 5(4) : 231-42.

Purpose Parents or primary caregivers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) have important role in early recognition of the disorder as well as in the management of the disorder. Knowledge, attitude and practice of primary caregivers towards children with ASD are important factors in promoting health and wellness of such children. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effectiveness of video-assisted teaching regarding care of children with ASD on knowledge, attitude and practice among primary caregivers.Design/methodology/approach Quasi-experimental research design with one group pre-test post-test was adopted. A total of 60 primary caregivers were selected through stratified random sampling technique. Video-assisted teaching was given to 60 primary caregivers. Data collection was done before and after the video-assisted teaching programme using structured questionnaire which consists of 57 questions.Findings The result of the study showed that the post-test level of knowledge attitude and practice among primary caregivers of children with ASD was significantly high (p<0.0001) when compared to pre-test level by using Wilcoxon Signed Rank Test. The study finding revealed that video-assisted teaching was effective in enhancing the knowledge, developing a positive attitude and good practice among primary caregivers regarding care of children with ASD.Social implications Findings of this study will help mental health nurses, psychologists, intellectual disability nurses, teachers, public health, social workers, etc. to know the importance of video-assisted teaching programme regarding care of children with ASD and to motivate the primary caregivers to participate in such teaching programme. The community mental health nurse can plan video-assisted teaching programme in a community regarding care of children with ASD.Originality/value Results of this study indicate that the video-assisted teaching is effective and helps the primary caregivers to enhance the knowledge, attitude and practice regarding care of children with ASD. So continuous awareness in primary health centre and community area is necessary to improve the knowledge, attitude and practice of primary caregivers.

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4. Asaoka H. Difficulties in spontaneously performing level 2 perspective-taking skills in children with autism spectrum disorder. Advances in Autism. 2019 ; 5(4) : 243-54.

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate why children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) tend to respond to tasks from their own perspective. The authors investigated the effects of explicitness of viewpoint on performance of spontaneous level 2 perspective-taking skills in six- to eight-year-old children with ASD.Design/methodology/approach The authors conducted visual perspective-taking tasks with explicit and implicit instructions about the viewpoint to be used. Participants operated a toy car on a map while listening to the experimenter’s instructions. In the implicit condition, when the experimenter said “Turn right/left” at each intersection, the participants moved the car accordingly. Subsequently, in the explicit condition, the experimenter said “Look from the driver’s viewpoint and turn right/left” at each intersection.Findings In the implicit condition, the authors did not observe a clear developmental change in performance between six- and eight-year-old children in the ASD group. In contrast, performance in the ASD group improved under the explicit condition relative to that under the implicit condition.Originality/value The results suggest six- to eight-year-old children with ASD tend not to spontaneously use level 2 perspective-taking skills. Therefore, viewpoints should be explicitly instructed to children with ASD. In addition, it is also important to implement training to encourage spontaneous transitions from self-perspective to other-perspective under the implicit condition.

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5. Altakhaineh Abdel Rahman M. The acquisition of the Arabic construct state (CS) constructions by Arabic-speaking children with ASD. Advances in Autism. 2019 ; 5(4) : 255-67.

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether age plays a role in the acquisition of construct state (CS) constructions in Arabic by 14 children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). It also examined the challenges faced by children with ASD in producing different types of CS constructions. Finally, the study analysed the sources of difficulties children with ASD encounter during the learning process of the CS.Design/methodology/approach For the purposes of this study, the participants were asked to orally complete short sentences with the help of illustrative pictures.Findings Results revealed that the age of the 14 children with ASD plays a role in the acquisition of CS constructions. Children of age 12–15 performed better than those of age 8 and 10. Results also showed that children with ASD performed better in producing phrases rather than compounds. Moreover, the participants performed better on endocentric compounds as opposed to exocentric ones. Finally, analysing the errors produced on the text revealed that the acquisition of head direction precedes definiteness.Originality/value The topic of the study has not been investigated yet and the study concluded with some important findings concerning teaching Arabic CS to children with ADS.

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6. Withrow Nicole A. The development of the Sensory Processing, Aberrant Mealtime Behavior, Motor Inventory for Eating (SAMIE) in children with an ASD. Advances in Autism. 2019 ; 5(4) : 268-81.

Purpose The purpose of this paper is to develop a comprehensive eating screening inventory named the Sensory Processing, Aberrant Mealtime Behaviors, Motor, Inventory for Eating (SAMIE). The SAMIE will accurately screen nutritional risk by identifying the four primary domains that affect eating in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).Design/methodology/approach The development of the questions was executed in three steps. First, a review of the literature was conducted. Second, expert opinion was acquired which was critical in developing the questions. Third, ten think-aloud protocols were set up to simplify the first draft. Prior to the pilot study, four participants were recruited to complete the SAMIE online.Findings A total of 162 participants completed the online demographic questionnaire and the SAMIE. Overall, participants did not differ between groups for demographic characteristics, BMI status and dietary intake. After conducting a series of statistical tests, results illustrated that the SAMIE is a valid measure to screen nutritional risk in children with ASD.Practical implications Due to the complexities of problematic eating behaviors in ASD, there is a need for a comprehensive screening inventory that encompasses the four domains that impact eating in an ASD. These domains have been identified as, namely, aberrant mealtime behavior, eating skills, dietary intake, and sensory processing and have yet to be utilized collectively to screen for nutritional risk in children with ASD.Originality/value The SAMIE is a novel eating screening inventory that will standardize the methodology for screening nutritional risk that can be used in clinical, community and research settings.

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7. Erden S. Conservatory education of a musical savant with autism : a case study in Turkey. Advances in Autism. 2019 ; 5(4) : 282-92.

Purpose Savant syndrome, a very rare condition in the world, refers to individuals who have extraordinary talents but might have disabilities that prevent them from maintaining their life. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the views of conservatory instructors about the education of Buğra Çankır (BC), a musical savant with autism.Design/methodology/approach As it was difficult to communicate with BC and elicit his views, interviews were conducted with his teachers, who had similar experiences in his music education process. The participants were six instructors who worked as full-time instructors in the conservatory. The participants were administered a semi-structured focus group interview form that described the difficulties, experiences, perceptions and feelings they had in their interactions with BC. Data obtained from the study were subjected to content analysis methods performed by the researchers ; analysis involved identification of the codes and themes and formation of sub-themes and codes in line with these themes.Findings Results showed that the participants had difficulties in teaching BC because of having insufficient knowledge about his features. In addition, while planning the conservatory education processes, the participants were found to redesign the teaching content considering the features of the student.Research limitations/implications The present case study is important in terms of revealing the problems experienced in the education processes of these individuals. More detailed qualitative studies or action research could be utilised in studies to be conducted in the future.Originality/value BC’s educational experience is the first case for educational institutions and instructors in Turkey.

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8. Barnard-Brak L. Age at death and comorbidity of dementia-related disorders among individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Advances in Autism. 2019 ; 5(4) : 293-302.

Purpose Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a lifelong disorder that requires intervention and support services for a growing geriatric population. The purpose of this paper is to examine the mean age at death of individuals with ASD and subsequent comorbidity with Alzheimer’s disease, and any form of dementia, as a whole and according to sex.Design/methodology/approach Data consisted of 1,754 individuals who had an ASD listed as one of the causes of deaths from the National Vital Statistics System with data from 1999 to 2015. In the current study, the authors present contradictory results with a mean age at death for individuals with ASD was 68 years by adjusting for changing prevalence rates.Findings Females with ASD had a higher mean age at death than males with ASD ; consistent with the trend in the sex differences in the general population. The results of the current study also indicate that individuals with ASD were, in fact, less likely than the general population to have Alzheimer’s disease or a form of dementia. However, males with ASD were significantly more likely to have acquired Alzheimer’s disease or a form of dementia as compared to females with ASD.Originality/value Guan and Li (2017) reported a mean age at death of 36 years old for individuals with ASD, which was subsequently reported in the mass media, most notably CNN. The authors contend that this study provides a more accurate estimate mean age at death.

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9. Politis Y. Empowering autistic adults through their involvement in the development of a virtual world. Advances in Autism. 2019 ; 5(4) : 303-17.

Purpose People with cognitive disabilities have a right to an inclusive society, and to have access to services and products that meet their specific needs. Participatory design (PD) represents a potentially effective way to ensure these rights, because users become influencers of the technological development and design process, are actively involved in the customization of that technology and develop a relationship with the designers/developers. Literature suggests that user involvement in technology development produces better products and has shown that this process offers users a voice and the process is also conducive to mutual learning between researchers and participants. This paper aims to discuss these issues.Design/methodology/approach Here the authors will present the development of a virtual world (VW) platform, having as a starting point a minimally viable initial version. This was followed by the creation of a networking framework to test each feature of the VW, which allowed connected users, most of whom on the autistic spectrum, to interact with each other in real time in the VW, and to see each other’s effects. Stress testing sessions were initiated with a mixed group of 15 users, 8 of whom with autism (7 male and 1 female). Ten of the participants were male and five were female (Figure 1).Findings Even though the platform is feature-complete, its code is still in development ; features can be improved/expanded upon, which necessitates further testing. The most commonly flagged issues from the stress testing were requests for videos/text manuals, the camera controls and chat message errors. These were implemented/fixed or added to the feature roadmap. “Heavy avatar customization” was also suggested, which has conceptual merit, but is not a priority.Practical implications PD is an inclusive approach that addresses personal needs and preferences, matching up the person with the tools and environments to ensure equity and inclusion. The VW whose development is described in this paper has been used for communication skills training with autistic young adults. It could be used for other social, life, academic and vocational skills training. This type of training through VR/VW may help enhance the employment-related skills of neurodiverse populations (and thus empower independent living) and has the potential for broader implementation and wider access in terms of distance learning.Originality/value This paper adds to the rather limited literature on applying PD approaches in the development of products for people with neurodevelopmental disabilities. The authors will present such a process for the development of a VW with people with autism. Although literature suggests that user involvement produces better outcomes, adopting this approach is not straightforward. The paper will describe in detail not only the contribution the participants made in every phase but also the limitations of applying a PD approach with a neurodiverse population, in order for them to be equal partners in the process and be involved in a meaningful way.

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10. Chown N. Response to Leaf et al.’s critique of Kupferstein’s finding of a possible link between applied behaviour analysis and post-traumatic stress disorder. Advances in Autism. 2019 ; 5(4) : 318-.

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