Commenced in January 2007
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Autism spectrum disorder Related Publications

4 The Effectiveness of Therapeutic Exercise on Motor Skills and Attention of Male Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Authors: Parviz Azadfallah, Masoume Pourmohamadreza-Tajrishi

Abstract:

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) involve myriad aberrant perceptual, cognitive, linguistic, and social behaviors. The term spectrum emphasizes that the disabilities associated with ASD fall on a continuum from relatively mild to severe. People with ASD may display stereotyped behaviors such as twirling, spinning objects, flapping the hands, and rocking. The individuals with ASD exhibit communication problems due to repetitive/restricted behaviors. Children with ASD who lack the motivation to learn, who do not enjoy physical challenges, or whose sensory perception results in confusing or unpleasant feedback from movement may not become sufficiently motivated to practice motor activities. As a result, they may show both a delay in developing certain motor skills. Additionally, attention is an important component of learning. As far as children with ASD have problems in joint attention, many education-based programs are needed to consider some aspects of attention and motor activities development for students with ASD. These programs focus on the basic movement skills that are crucial for the future development of the more complex skills needed in games, dance, sports, gymnastics, active play, and recreational physical activities. The purpose of the present research was to determine the effectiveness of therapeutic exercise on motor skills and attention of male students with ASD. This was an experimental study with a control group. The population consisted of 8-10 year-old male students with ASD and 30 subjects were selected randomly from an available center suitable for the children with ASD. They were evaluated by the Basic Motor Ability Test (BMAT) and Persian version of computerized Stroop color-word test and randomly assigned to an experimental and control group (15 students in per group). The experimental group participated in 16 therapeutic exercise sessions and received therapeutic exercise program (twice a week; each lasting for 45 minutes) designed based on the Spark motor program while the control group did not. All subjects were evaluated by BMAT and Stroop color-word test after the last session again. The collected data were analyzed by using multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA). The results of MANCOVA showed that experimental and control groups had a significant difference in motor skills and at least one of the components of attention (correct responses, incorrect responses, no responses, the reaction time of congruent words and reaction time of incongruent words in the Stroop test). The findings showed that the therapeutic exercise had a significant effect on motor skills and all components of attention in students with ASD. We can conclude that the therapeutic exercise led to promote the motor skills and attention of students with ASD, so it is necessary to design or plan such programs for ASD students to prevent their communication or academic problems.

Keywords: Attention, therapeutic exercise, Autism spectrum disorder, motor skills

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3 Financial Burden of Family for the Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Authors: M. R. Bhuiyan, S. M. M. Hossain, M. Z. Islam

Abstract:

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is the fastest growing serious developmental disorder characterized by social deficits, communicative difficulties, and repetitive behaviors. ASD is an emerging public health issue globally which is associated with huge financial burden to the family, community and the nation. The aim of this study was to assess the financial burden of family for the children with Autism spectrum Disorder. This cross-sectional study was carried out from July 2015 to June 2016 among 154 children with ASD to assess the financial burden of family. Data were collected by face-to-face interview with semi-structured questionnaire following systematic random sampling technique. Majority (73.4%) children were male and mean (±SD) age was 6.66 ± 2.97 years. Most (88.8%) of the children were from urban areas with average monthly family income Tk. 41785.71±23936.45. Average monthly direct cost of the children was Tk.17656.49 ± 9984.35, while indirect cost was Tk. 13462.90 ± 9713.54 and total treatment cost was Tk. 23076.62 ± 15341.09. Special education cost (Tk. 4871.00), cost of therapy (Tk. 4124.07) and travel cost (Tk. 3988.31) were the major types of direct cost, while loss of income (Tk.14570.18) was the chief indirect cost incurred by the families. The study found that majority (59.8%) of the children attended special schools were incurred Tk.20001-78700 as total treatment cost, which were statistically significant (p<0.001). Again, families with higher monthly family income incurred higher treatment cost (r=0.526, p<0.05). Difference between mean direct and indirect cost was found significant (t=4.190, df=61, p<0.001). According to the analysis of variance, mean difference of father’s educational status among direct cost (F=10.337, p<0.001) and total treatment cost (F=7.841, p<0.001), which were statistically significant. The study revealed that maximum children with ASD were under five years, three-fourth were male. According to monthly family income, maximum family were in middle class. The study recommends cost effective interventions and financial safety-net measures to reduce the financial burden of families for the children with ASD.

Keywords: Special Education, Autism spectrum disorder, direct cost, indirect cost, financial burden

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2 A Robotic “Puppet Master” Application to ASD Therapeutic Support

Authors: Sophie Sakka, Rénald Gaboriau

Abstract:

This paper describes a preliminary work aimed at setting a therapeutic support for autistic teenagers using three humanoid robots NAO shared by ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) subjects. The studied population had attended successfully a first year program, and were observed with a second year program using the robots. This paper focuses on the content and the effects of the second year program. The approach is based on a master puppet concept: the subjects program the robots, and use them as an extension for communication. Twenty sessions were organized, alternating ten preparatory sessions and ten robotics programming sessions. During the preparatory sessions, the subjects write a story to be played by the robots. During the robot programming sessions, the subjects program the motions to be realized to make the robot tell the story. The program was concluded by a public performance. The experiment involves five ASD teenagers aged 12-15, who had all attended the first year robotics training. As a result, a progress in voluntary and organized communication skills of the five subjects was observed, leading to improvements in social organization, focus, voluntary communication, programming, reading and writing abilities. The changes observed in the subjects general behavior took place in a short time, and could be observed from one robotics session to the next one. The approach allowed the subjects to draw the limits of their body with respect to the environment, and therefore helped them confronting the world with less anxiety.

Keywords: Robot, Autism spectrum disorder, therapeutic support, rob’autism

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1 The Role of MAOA Gene in the Etiology of Autism Spectrum Disorder in Males

Authors: Dana Gabrikova, Jana Kisková

Abstract:

Monoamine oxidase A gene (MAOA) is suggested to be a candidate gene implicated in many neuropsychiatric disorders, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This meta-analytic review evaluates the relationship between ASD and MAOA markers such as 30 bp variable number tandem repeats in the promoter region (uVNTR) and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) by using findings from recently published studies. It seems that in Caucasian males, the risk of developing ASD increase with the presence of 4- repeat allele in the promoter region of MAOA gene whereas no differences were found between autistic patients and controls in Egyptian, West Bengal and Korean population. Some studies point to the importance of specific haplotype groups of SNPs and interaction of MAOA with others genes (e. g. FOXP2 or SRY). The results of existing studies are insufficient and further research is needed.

Keywords: Autism spectrum disorder, MAOA, uVNTR, single nucleotide polymorphism

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