This study reports on observed interaction patterns between 20 children with autism and mixed intellectual disabilities (mean chronological age = 11:4 years; language age = 4:7 years) and their nine teachers working with a specially developed multimedia program aiming to increase literacy skills. An increase in verbal expression was found over time for the total group. Children with autism also showed increased enjoyment and willingness to seek help from their teachers. Teachers for both diagnostic groups reduced their instructions on how to handle the computer during the program but the decrease was greater in the teachers for children with autism. When the total group of children was subdivided according to language age (high versus low), it appears that those with a low language age showed an increase in verbal expressiveness from start to end of training. Those with a high language age showed increased enjoyment. It is concluded that more detailed studies of the interaction patterns between teachers and children are needed, and these should be related to children's language level as well as to diagnostic group.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology