Language and Visual Perception as a Communication tool for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Authors: Luisa Barreto, Hugo Gonçalves
Abstract: This study aims to create a tool to facilitate pedagogy for children with autism spectrum disorders, with a primary focus on investigating how different alternative communication systems can improve the daily lives of these children.Autism is a psychological disorder that expresses itself in the development of different degrees of affectation of the individual in relation to family and social interactions, revealing very specific behavioral characteristics, and deficits in communication and language. Due to the difficulty of diagnosing this pathology in the first years of a child's life, the treatments implemented are not always the most appropriate. On the other hand, there are several degrees of development of the disease, which are relevant to their ability to interact with people and the world around them. Therefore, and in association with an early diagnosis, it is necessary to find ways to stimulate them towards social interaction and the development of self-esteem and communication, through didactic-pedagogical monitoring. It is estimated that autism affects one in every 160 children in the world, where pedagogical programs do not contemplate the needs of these children, they become discriminated and segregated from the community.The main goal of this study is to create a pedagogical object adapted to individuals with cognitive disabilities, particularly children with autism spectrum disorders, allowing them to develop their cognitive and interaction skills with others. With the support of studies and institutions that work with children with autism spectrum disorders, information was collected to identify which visual elements are more stimulating and provide interaction with other children.Having Communication Design as a tool for creating communication objects, it was concluded that the best way to provide this interaction would be with the creation of a children's storybook suitable to the interests of children with autism spectrum disorders.Thus, a character Miguelito, who travels through the stars and planets, was created. "Miguelito's Journey" is characterized by a specific language, with the objective of improving and adapting its characteristics as much as possible to the perception capacities of children with cognitive disorders in order to facilitate communication between them. The book/game was presented to a sample of five children with autism, with ages ranging from six to ten years old, who were asked to make a joint and final analysis about the storytelling in the book. From this interaction with the developed project, we started observational study, through the collection of qualitative data. This study revealed that illustrations are a key point of help for individuals with cognitive difficulties, since textual production in these cases becomes a difficult medium to understand. These illustrations should be simple, which makes them easier to understand, and the insertion of textured materials is an added value, creating more interest and interaction of children with autism spectrum disorders.
Keywords: Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Ilustration, pedagogy
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