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Distance Learning Rehabilitation of Autistic Reasoning

Distance Learning Rehabilitation of Autistic Reasoning
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Author(s): Boris Galitsky (Birkbeck College University of London, UK)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 7
Source title: Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patricia L. Rogers (Bemidji State University, USA), Gary A. Berg (California State University Channel Islands (Retired), USA), Judith V. Boettcher (Designing for Learning, USA), Caroline Howard (HC Consulting, USA), Lorraine Justice (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong) and Karen D. Schenk (K. D. Schenk and Associates Consulting, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch101

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Abstract

Recent psychological studies have revealed that autistic children can neither reason properly about mental states of themselves and others, nor understand emotions (Leslie, 1987; Perner 1991; Pilowsky, Yirmiya, Arbelle, & Mozes 2000). Autism is a multifactor disorder that is characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, combined with repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, and affects up to 1% of school-aged children in some geographic areas. In this article we are concerned with the strategies of rehabilitation of reasoning to improve communication skills of children with autism. It has been confirmed by multiple clinical studies that the properly timed treatment is essential for the autistic patient to increase the chance for recovery. An early behavioral intervention is highly beneficial for autistic children (Green, 1996; Jensen & Sinclair, 2002; Rogers, 1998). There is an opinion with increasing support by multiple researchers that intensive behavioral intervention (that can be stimulated in distance learning) may result in a dramatic improvement of autistic reasoning (McEachin, Smith, & Lovaas, 1993). From the viewpoint of autism experts who believe that there is no alternative to behavioral intervention (thought of as the only way to facilitate compensatory learning; see, e.g., Frith, 2001; Howlin, 1998), distance learning may be a useful aid for the education of parents and rehabilitation personnel.

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