Tablet Apps to Support First School Inclusion of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in Mainstream Classrooms: A Pilot Study

Tablet Apps to Support First School Inclusion of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in Mainstream Classrooms: A Pilot Study

Table of Contents





Abstract

The inclusion of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in mainstream classrooms is dramatically impeded by their difficulties in socio-adaptive behaviors. This paper presents a package of mobile applications consisting of both assistive and cognitive rehabilitation applications to support first school inclusion of children with ASD. These applications have been tested in a 3-month intervention in mainstream schools and at home, involving 50 participants (30 children with ASD, half of which was equipped and 20 equipped children with intellectual deficiencies). Benefits on socio-adaptive behaviors and social responsibility in school settings and socio-cognitive functioning have been assessed. The main results showed that equipped children with ASD improved their socio-adaptive behaviors and their social-response in school settings. Both equipped groups increased their socio-cognitive functioning.

Keywords

autism spectrum disorders (ASD), school inclusion, assistive technologies for persons with disabilities, intellectual disability, adaptive behavior

INTRODUCTION

Mobile health, the use of mobile digital technologies to improve health care, is a rapidly expanding area, particularly within psychological care of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorders (ASD) or intellectual disabilities (ID) (Mechling, 2007). The number of mobile applications targeting cognitive training or activity assistance for all kinds of disabilities grows up on digital application stores, such as Apple Store (IOS) or Google Play Store (Android) (Donker et al., 2013). The use of mobile devices in everyday life situations offers new possibilities in terms of rehabilitation, assistance, and evaluation, so far impossible due to the required presence of a trained stakeholder. Up to 300 applications for children with ASD are now inventoried in application stores. The appetence of children with ASD for this type of interactive mobile supports (for review: Stephenson and Limbrick, 2013) has undoubtedly been a driver for the expansion of this market. Unfortunately, there is a paucity of controlled studies investigating the effectiveness of psychological interventions based on mobile apps (Stephenson and Limbrick, 2013). The purpose of the present pilot study was to develop and to assess the efficacy of both a set of remediation. applications for socio-cognitive functioning and a set of assistive applications for socio-adaptive behaviors in the ecological situation of the first inclusion of children with ASD in the mainstream classroom.

CONCLUSION

This study presents an intervention that relies on a set of mobile applications, “School+,” to support school inclusion of children with ASD in mainstream classrooms. These assistive and rehabilitation applications have been used for 3 months by 33 children (14 children with ASD and 19 children with ID) from special-education classrooms, during their first inclusion in mainstream classrooms in secondary schools. Fifteen children with ASD, who were not equipped with the applications, also participated to our study as a comparative group; the group of tablet-ID children allowed us to verify whether observed benefits were specific to the target population (ASD) or common with others (ID for instance). Tablet-ASD children exhibited improvements on sociocognitive functioning (as assessed by four neuropsychological tests), three domains of socio-adaptive behaviors (Social skills, School skills, and Leisure), and two domains of social response (motivation and repetitive behaviors). Tablet-ID children also exhibited improved performance on these tests at the end of the intervention. Thanks to a systematic approach, based both on in situ assistance and cognitive training of socio-cognitive processes, the 3-month intervention based on “School+” applications allowed participants with ASD to be more included in mainstream classrooms for better social participation. Taken together, these results are promising and support the inclusion of mTBI in therapeutic and compensatory ecological interventions for children with ASD.

About KSRA

The Kavian Scientific Research Association (KSRA) is a non-profit research organization to provide research / educational services in December 2013. The members of the community had formed a virtual group on the Viber social network. The core of the Kavian Scientific Association was formed with these members as founders. These individuals, led by Professor Siavosh Kaviani, decided to launch a scientific / research association with an emphasis on education.

KSRA research association, as a non-profit research firm, is committed to providing research services in the field of knowledge. The main beneficiaries of this association are public or private knowledge-based companies, students, researchers, researchers, professors, universities, and industrial and semi-industrial centers around the world.

Our main services Based on Education for all Spectrum people in the world. We want to make an integration between researches and educations. We believe education is the main right of Human beings. So our services should be concentrated on inclusive education.

The KSRA team partners with local under-served communities around the world to improve the access to and quality of knowledge based on education, amplify and augment learning programs where they exist, and create new opportunities for e-learning where traditional education systems are lacking or non-existent.

FULL Paper PDF file:

Tablet Apps to Support First School Inclusion of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in Mainstream Classrooms: A Pilot Study

 

Bibliography

author

Year

2018

Title

Tablet Apps to Support First School Inclusion of Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in Mainstream Classrooms: A Pilot Study

Publish in

Frontiers in Psychology |

Doi

10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02020

PDF reference and original file: Click here

Website | + posts

Nasim Gazerani was born in 1983 in Arak. She holds a Master's degree in Software Engineering from UM University of Malaysia.

Website | + posts

Professor Siavosh Kaviani was born in 1961 in Tehran. He had a professorship. He holds a Ph.D. in Software Engineering from the QL University of Software Development Methodology and an honorary Ph.D. from the University of Chelsea.

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Somayeh Nosrati was born in 1982 in Tehran. She holds a Master's degree in artificial intelligence from Khatam University of Tehran.