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Increasing Reading and Communication Skills in Children with Autism Through An Interactive Multimedia Computer Program
Göteborgs universitet.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5025-9975
Penn State University.
Göteborgs universitet.
Göteborgs universitet.
1995 (English)In: Journal of autism and developmental disorders, ISSN 0162-3257, E-ISSN 1573-3432, Vol. 25, no 5, 459-480 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper reports on the effect of using an interactive and child-initiatedmicrocomputer program (Alpha) when teaching three groups of childrenfN = 30) reading and communications skills: (a) 11 children with autism fMchronological age, CA = 9:4 years), (b) 9 children with mixed handicaps(M CA = 13:1), and (c) 10 normal preschool children (M CA = 6:4 years).Their mental age varied from 5:8 years to 6:9 years and all children receivedcomputer instruction supplementary to their regular reading and writing activities. Tests of reading and phonological development were carried out atthe onset of the training (Start), at the end (Post I), and at a follow-upevaluation (Post 2). In addition, video observations of the childrens' verbaland nonverbal communication were added at Start and Post I. The childrenwith autism increased both their word reading and their phonologicalawareness through the use of the Alpha program. Clearly significant gains wereobserved during the intervention, but none during the follow-up period. Asimilar but weaker pattern is observed for the children with mixed handicaps.In contrast, the normal preschool children increased their scores regardless ofthe program. Analyses of the children's classroom behavior indicate that theintervention succeeded in stimulating verbal expressions among the childrenwith autism and mixed handicap. A significant increase in enjoyment was alsonoted for the children with autism. It is concluded that the intervention witha motivating multimedia program might stimulate reading and communicationin children with various developmental disabilities, but that such interventionsmust be individually based and include both detailed planning and monitoringfrom teachers, and parents, as well as from clinicians in charge.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 1995. Vol. 25, no 5, 459-480 p.
Keyword [en]
Autistic children, Computer assisted instruction, Intervention
National Category
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology) Psychiatry
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-80882DOI: 10.1007/BF02178294OAI: diva2:548897
Available from: 2012-09-02 Created: 2012-09-02 Last updated: 2013-09-12

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Heimann, Mikael
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