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EMOTIONAL EDUCATION FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM

Autism is a developmental disorder diagnosed on the basis of early-emerging social and communication impairments and rigid repetitive patterns of behaviour and interests. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder experience inappropriate social interaction, poor eye contact, compulsive behaviour, impulsivity, repetitive movements, self-harm, or persistent repetition of words or actions these children psychologically are also unaware of others’ emotions or depression.

The existence of information and communication technologies (ICT) in our everyday life is an undoubted evident phenomenon. Recently, the constant development has an immediate effect on education and educational contexts.

There have been considerable advances in the research on innovative information communication technology (ICT) for the education of people with autism. Their review main objective was to provide an overview of the recent ICT applications used in the treatment of autism and to focus on the early development of imitation and joint attention in the context of children with autism as well as robotics”.

Young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder have difficulty not only in recognizing emotions but also in expressing them. According to Brady “research in the neurosciences has identified distinctions between neural structures that sub serve cognitive intelligence and those subserving emotional intelligence. Despite high average cognitive abilities, young adults with Autism Disorder i.e. those without an accompanying intellectual or language disorder relatively to typically developing peers, reported lower levels of emotional intelligence. Importantly, they did not find any statistically significant correlation between cognitive intelligence and emotional intelligence in either group.

It should also be mentioned that when children were upset, the parents could not discriminate if they felt sad, scared or angry both before and after the intervention. With these in place, children can now better explain how they feel.

Practical Steps That Can Be Taken

Use of software, Mood Maker. This is designed to teach young children basic emotions such as happiness, sadness, amazement and sleepy feeling. It contained three different places (a forest, a castle and a farm) in which it can be added any character of preference (from the offered ones). They can also choose the emotion they want to represent.

Worksheets can also be used. The main objective of this is for matching, eyes, nose and mouth can be matched on the face and then recognize the feeling that was depicted. At the same time, we can ask each child whether the face that he or she made is happy or sad? Is it angry or sleepy?

Pictures can also be shown displaying several emotions and the student can be asked to describe the emotions.

Educational software is designed to encourage emotional education and development which simultaneously should be open access i.e. it doesn’t prerequire any cost and easily applicable.

Through Mood Maker, the individualized instruction can easily be realized. Mood maker can assist students’ autonomous development since they can more efficiently accomplishing emotional education tasks on their own. Moreover, parents and educators should give feedback for the effectiveness of these methods so as to be sure that the children were less confused or puzzled about what they were feeling, particularly with simple emotions like happiness or sadness.

Finally, it should be mentioned that early intervention is great for emotional education and development. Both parents and educators should not form low expectations for emotional attainments of children with Autism Disorder. The continuous, well designed and individualized intervention would be beneficial for these children.

 

Article by: Busayo Tomoh

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