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Developing the abilities of the children with autism.

Initiator: The Association for Helping Children with Autism from Romania “Horia Moţoi“

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Project description

The project has as purpose improving the social abilities and the imitation skills of the children with autistic spectrum disorders, from “Horia Motoi” Centre, through play. The autism is a complex disorder that appears during the first three years of life. The causes are still unknown, but is in generally accepted the fact that it is the result of atypical neurological structure that prevents the normal functioning of the brain, the autism affecting the appearance and the development of language. The severity of the condition and the combination of symptoms varies greatly from individual to individual, so that two children with the same diagnosis may act quite differently. For 10 years now, Horia Moţoi Centre uses a method called A.B.A. - Applied Behaviour Analysis and the results are visible. This type of intervention is not based on medicines or other biological cures, it is one of the most expensive and inaccessible for many of the Romanians, because it is based on working intensively with specialists. Each specialist works only with one child for a period of the day, according to his/her needs and it can reach to 35-40 hours per week. In addition to the work within the centre, trainings for parents will be organized, where the basic concepts in the application of ABA will be presented, especially managing problem behaviours that their children may have. It is compulsory that the parents of the children from the centre should know the concepts of A.B.A. and to apply at home the same method. Thus, the results will come sooner.

The project aims to develop social and group skills, and also imitation skills of the children with autism spectrum disorders from the Centre, in order to integrate them in the preschool mass educational system.

Technical description:

The MT interactive board is the right tool when it comes to an interactive presentation or play. It is a very simple and efficient way to engage pupils to participate to games. The infrared technology permits using the interactive board by four users simultaneous, each being able to make any operation and multiple gestures (zoom, spinning, moving). The device functions in Plug and Play mode right from the moment it is connected to the computer, thus it doesn’t need supplementary tools and functions.

Initiator: The Association for Helping Children with Autism from Romania “Horia Moţoi“

WEBSITE:

http://centrul-horiamotoi.ro/

 

FACEBOOK:

https://www.facebook.com/autismhoriamotoi

Arguments

The project consists in acquiring a multi-touch interactive board, necessary for developing the social and group abilities of a number of minimum 10 children from the centre, and also training their parents for a better communication with their children. In order to offer better chances of recovery, it is important that both at the centre and at home, in the environment familiar to the child, to continue applying the fundamental principles of ABA method. The multi-touch interactive board is indispensable for:

Group activities prior to the integration of children in normal kindergarten:

  • Initiating and maintaining visual contact with another child, the first form of social interaction;
  • Accepting the presence of other children near him, without showing disruptive behaviour;
  • Spontaneously tracking  the behaviour of other children, looking towards other children when they talk, orientation towards other children and physical proximity and involvement in group activities with them;
  • Developing fine motor skills, involving a good clip and a corresponding dexterity.

In addition:

  • It represents a powerful motivational source in working with children (can install countless educational games, can write, draw, move objects);
  • It can show parents, in an objective manner, presentations, concepts and fundamental principles of ABA behavioural intervention, in order to help them interact with their children and understand them;
  • It allows the creation of a specialized training for tutors so that they are constantly training and perfecting themselves.

Activities

Initially, from the samples of the VB -MAP scoring instrument, the "social behaviour" and "motor imitation" scales will be applied, in order to hold a graphic record of the basic level. The particularities of each child will be identified: interest, stereotyped behaviours we are trying to correct, objects and favourite activities by direct observation and by using instruments such as check-list and scoring scale ("preference assessment"), and subsequently to be able to customize work and intervention programs to correct the problem behaviours for each child, based on the initial assessment of the child’s abilities with VB- MAPP. Furthermore the activities will be developed in groups for an hour daily, aiming the development of these areas:

  • Initiating and maintaining visual contact with another child , the first form of social interaction;
  • Accepting the presence of other children near him, without showing disruptive behaviour;
  • Spontaneously tracking  the behaviour of other children;
  • Looking towards other children when they talk;
  • Orientation towards other children and physical proximity;
  • Imitating the behaviour of children;
  • Involvement in group activities with children;
  • Requests and answers to other children requests.

The complexity of the game increases gradually, new forms of presentation will be adopted by continuously adding specific actions, based on the progress observed in the child's behaviour. If during the next assessments it is considered that the purpose of the excercise was achieved, a process will be built, for generalization/integration of the activity in the context of current life, together with the parents, teachers, other children. At the end a reassessment will be made using the same scale and will be compared the pre-test and the post-test. The success of the activities appears in the moment when the results of the post-test are significantly higher than those of the pre-test, showing the effectiveness of the method applied.

Calendar

  • The evaluation of the children by applying the VB-MAPP abilities evaluation tool
  • Preparing, organizing and developing the therapy sessions using the interactive board
  • Finalizing the project by reassessment of the children with the same evaluation tools

  

Beneficiaries

The target group is formed by the 10 children with autism spectrum disorders, with ages between 2 and 6 years, from “Horia Moţoi” Centre. The parents of these 10 children will also benefit from this project.

Impact

The implementation of this project will improve the development of the verbal and non-verbal expressiveness of the children by gaining new skills.



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