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Promoting Social Skills in Young Autistic Learners through Story Reading in Inclusive Settings : m. a. thesis
Tjaša Tomše, 2023, master's thesis

Abstract: Using storybooks as a teaching tool has proved an effective teaching and learning technique that aids in developing and enhancing vocabulary, promotes reading and comprehension skills and even fosters social skills in learners with different needs and abilities. Developing and enhancing key social skills is all the more important for learners diagnosed with autism. Autistic learners experience deficits in social interaction and communication, struggle with fear of the unknown, have constant need for sameness, and might encounter sensory hypo- and hypersensitivities. Promoting social skills has been shown to significantly alleviate social difficulties in children with autism, and one of the successful social skills teaching and intervention methods for learners diagnosed with autism is – according to Amy Bohlander et al. and other researchers in the field – storybook reading. The theoretical part of the thesis aims at presenting key features of autistic behavior correlated with the neuroimaging findings on the irregular functioning of certain parts of the autistic brain; addressing effective inclusion strategies for teaching (young) autistic learners enrolled in general education settings, and discussing the characteristics that constitute a potentially appropriate storybook for use with young autistic learners in inclusive story reading lessons. The empirical part provides a descriptive analysis of ten storybooks, which offer a step-by-step guidance on how to cope with (a) socially challenging situation(s) and were not specifically adapted for learners with autism. The results of the storybook analysis have shown that the storybooks are mainly appropriate for promoting social skills in young autistic learners, whereby the number of storybooks classified as fully appropriate equals the number of partially appropriate items. However, to ensure a quality inclusive story reading experience that allows for effective, autism-friendly social skills teaching, the teacher or story reader needs to consider meeting the adaptation requirements for each storybook, irrespective of its classification, and identify the autistic individual´s unique set of weaknesses, enhanced abilities and (anti-)social behavior patterns prior to selecting a storybook for a group story reading.
Keywords: autism, inclusive education, social skills teaching, storybooks, story reading
Published in DKUM: 16.11.2023; Views: 422; Downloads: 20
.pdf Full text (6,06 MB)

Communication Challenges in Inclusive Education Faced by Deaf and Non-deaf People
Omar Gamal, 2022

Abstract: This is a consolidated report on the work done in Intellectual Output One: Communication Challenges for the Advancing Inclusive Education Through International Sign - InSign project. This report combines and summarises the results obtained in national reports done by project partners from Cyprus, Germany, Greece, Portugal, and Slovenia. This document includes information on national sign languages, support for deaf people and their learning possibilities in different countries. In one section, we will review the status of International Sign in all the partner countries. We have also performed surveys done primarily with students to measure how they perceive deaf people, how they understand sign language and the difficulties deaf face in the education system. In this document, we analyse the data collected across the project partners. Each partner has also performed a guided interview with those most familiar with the deaf community (deaf themselves, educators, interpreters etc.) to help better understand the circumstances and answer some of the questions difficult to find in literature. The Consolidated Report summarises interview findings from national reports with the main takeaways.
Keywords: international sign, sign language, inclusive education, communication challenges, deaf communities
Published in DKUM: 31.01.2022; Views: 845; Downloads: 75
.pdf Full text (4,60 MB)
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