Conscious Communication Skills Formation in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (Initial Period)
Keywords:autism spectrum disorders, ASD, initial period of forming conscious communication skills, method of sensory integration, phenomenological approach, coordination movements
Despite the number of researches made on the problem of developing communication skills in children with autism spectrum disorders (hereinafter ASD), there are still many issues in this area covered insufficiently. Significant difficulties appear at the first stage of developing communication skills, when the children with ASD have not yet formed attention to other people, there is no contact with them, and they may not even recognize their relatives. Under such conditions, it is difficult for parents to care for and to interact with such children. Other experts are also often frightened of them. Without the proper experience of interaction, they do not have any long-term vision of the process and dynamics of developing their communication skills.
The purpose of our study was to create and test a step-by-step method of forming initial conscious communication skills in children with ASD, as well as to identify the dynamics and guidelines that indicate their prerequisites for this skill and readiness for the productive communication.
By implementing the methodology in practice, we identified and described eight groups of markers of the transition of children with ASD from one stage of work to another. Such guidelines can help special educators determine the effectiveness of the learning process as the duration of work with the child during this period can be extended. The duration of the formation of initial communication skills in children with ASD varies and depends on several factors: the child’s age, regularity of classes, active parental involvement, levels of intellectual delay, and behavioral disorders.
With the proposed method, the skill of communication is formed holistically, with the inclusion of all the elements that are inherent in it:
- emotional arousal as a reaction to the object of communication;
- contact attention;
- imitation of communicative forms of behavior demonstrated by others;
- requests and orders to meet ego needs;
- knowledge sharing.
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