Advances in Autism : 2020 - Issue 4

jeudi 24 décembre 2020

1. Hardy S, Chaplin E, McCarthy J. Editorial. Advances in Autism ;2020 ;6(4):257-258.

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2. Fletcher P, Redquest B, Bryden P. Social and motor skills of children and youth with autism from the perspectives of caregivers. Advances in Autism ;2020 ;6(4):259-275.

Purpose This study aims to explore social and motor impairments of children with autism through the perspectives of their caregivers. Social and motor deficits among people with autism are well documented. There is support to suggest a reciprocal relationship between social and motor deficits among people with autism, in that social deficits can act as a barrier to motor skill development and motor deficits can act as a barrier to social skill development. Design/methodology/approach This study explored social and motor impairments of children with autism through the perspectives of eight caregivers of children with autism. Findings Many salient findings emerged from the interviews conducted with caregivers, particularly concerning the social and motor development of their children. The relationships between their children’s social and motor deficits were also highlighted. Research limitations/implications It is important that health-care professionals educate parents about the consequences of motor impairments or delays and their associations with the development of social skills. As such, routine motor skill monitoring and assessments by caregivers and health-care professionals should be encouraged. Originality/value To the best of authors’ knowledge, this is the first paper to investigate motor and social deficits of children with autism from the caregivers’ perspectives.

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3. Lai PT. Expressivity in children with autism and Williams syndrome. Advances in Autism ;2020 ;6(4):277-288.

Purpose The purpose of this study is to investigate the social and affective aspects of communication in school-age children with HFA and school-age children with WS using a micro-analytic approach. Social communication is important for success at home, school, work and in the community. Lacking the ability to effectively process and convey information can lead to deficits in social communication. Individuals with high functioning autism (HFA) and individuals with Williams syndrome (WS) often have significant impairments in social communication that impact their relationships with others. Currently, little is known about how school-age children use and integrate verbal and non-verbal behaviors in the context of a social interaction. Design/methodology/approach A micro-analytic coding scheme was devised to reveal which channels children use to convey information. Language, eye gaze behaviors and facial expressions of the child were coded during this dyadic social interaction. These behaviors were coded throughout the entire interview, as well as when the child was the speaker and when the child was the listener. Findings Language results continue to pose problems for the HFA and WS groups compared to their typically developing (TD) peers. For non-verbal communicative behaviors, a qualitative difference in the use of eye gaze was found between the HFA and WS groups. For facial expression, the WS and TD groups produced more facial expressions than the HFA group. Research limitations/implications No differences were observed in the HFA group when playing different roles in a conversation, suggesting they are not as sensitive to the social rules of a conversation as their peers. Insights from this study add knowledge toward understanding social-communicative development in school-age children. Originality/value In this study, two non-verbal behaviors will be assessed in multiple contexts : the entire biographical interview, when the child is the speaker and when the child is the listener. These social and expressive measures give an indication of how expressive school-age children are and provide information on their attention, affective state and communication skills when conversing with an adult. Insights from this study will add knowledge toward understanding social-communicative development in school-age children.

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4. Fabio RA, Carrozza C. Dysfunctional perceptual antecedent can justify the social orienting deficit in autism spectrum disorder : an eye-tracking study. Advances in Autism ;2020 ;6(4):289-302.

Purpose Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) show reduced attention to social stimuli. The reasons for these impairments are still being debated by researchers. The aim of this study is to analyse if reduced attention towards social stimuli is determined by initial underlying difficulties in the control of visual attention. Among the variables that could produce these difficulties, the authors considered geometric complexity and typology of geometric figures. Design/methodology/approach To test this hypothesis, in this paper, an eye-tracker paradigm was used for assessing visual exploration and recognition memory towards geometric figures (curved vs rectilinear) with two levels of geometric complexity (low and high) in 17 children with ASD matched with 17 children with typical development (TD). Findings The results showed that the ASD group seemed indifferent to both the geometric complexity and the typology of figures (curved and rectilinear), whereas the TD group showed higher performances with highly complex and curved geometric figures than with low complex and rectilinear geometric figures. Research limitations/implications Because of the chosen research approach, the research results may lack generalizability. Therefore, researchers are encouraged to test the proposed hypotheses further. Practical implications This paper includes implications upon the presence of an unspecified visual attention deficit that is present from the early stages of the processing of stimuli. Social implications The understanding of this deficit from the early stages of the processing of stimuli can help educators to intervene at an early stage when disturbances in social relationships are starting. Originality/value This study contributes to understanding the presence of dysfunctional perceptual antecedents that could determine general difficulties in paying attention to social stimuli in ASD subjects.

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5. Nah Y-H. Preliminary data of a preschool teacher-screening checklist for autism spectrum disorder in Singapore. Advances in Autism ;2020 ;6(4):303-313.

Purpose There are limited tools developed for preschool teachers to aid them in identifying these children with possible autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study aims to describe the development and present preliminary data of a checklist for ASD screening for preschool teachers (CAPT-S) in Singapore that is easy for preschool teachers to use to identify ASD in mainstream preschoolers from 3 to 6 years old. Design/methodology/approach This study adopted a cross-sectional questionnaire design. The CAPT-S is a 12-item checklist based on the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fifth Edition criteria and derived from a survey in a previous study that examined preschool teachers’ perceptions of challenging behaviors in preschoolers with ASD in Singapore. Participants consisted of 63 preschool teachers (mean age = 29.4 years ; SD = 9.8) teaching in mainstream preschool centers located in Singapore, and they were asked to use the CAPT-S to rate their students on a four-point Likert scale on frequency of observed behavior. Findings Preliminary results indicated construct validity was demonstrated and high reliability in terms of internal consistency and moderate test–retest reliability of the CAPT-S. Diagnostic validity of the CAPT-S was also established, even after controlling for variables such as working experience and time spent working with that student. The optimal cutoff score of 24 produced high sensitivity and specificity. Originality/value The present study adds an important contribution to the literature on using preschool teachers as an additional informant in the screening process of ASD. The CAPT-S may be suitable for preschool teachers to use to identify children with possible ASD, although future studies would need to be conducted to examine its effectiveness.

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6. Alkhayat LS, Ibrahim M. Assessing the effect of playing games on the behavior of ASD and TD children. Advances in Autism ;2020 ;6(4):315-334.

Purpose Previous researches point that children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) show particular interests in computers and other multimedia electronics (Mazurek et al., 2012). Experts in pediatric care contemplate the possibility of exploiting this relationship to inform the interventions among children with Autism. This paper aims to explore how video games can be used to aid the cognitive and social development among children with ASD and typically developing children (TDC). Design/methodology/approach The study design used was experimental, with 112 children as the main participants. The researchers watched the behaviors of the children through controlled observation as they compared the behaviors with their established models. In this case, the structured models worked as the control group in the experiment. To understand the relationship between the variables : exposure to video games and children’s social interactions, the researchers used multiple linear regression analysis, ANOVA and correlation coefficients Findings The predictor model was effective because it accounted for at least 26% of the variation in the dependent variables at a statistical significance level of p < 0.000. Other than the structured models, there were also individual predictors, which also established that when families played games with children, the children tended to calm down their negative behaviors. Hence, family playing games with children can help ease the symptoms of children with ASD and TDC at (t = 2.631, 4.180 and 0.024, p = 0.05). However, the duration of watching or playing the games did not contribute to children negative behavior such as poor school performance, failing to complete homework, playing games past bedtime and feeling agitated or isolated. Originality/value To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this paper is original, and it is first to report the findings of this type of study. This research used unique sample sizes and variables, though within the existing theoretical framework of social science experiments. All borrowed ideas have properly been cited to original owners’ efforts.

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