SENSORY PROCESSING IN CHILDREN WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER: ROUTES OF INCLUSION BY EXPLORING THE SOUND IN THE SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT
1 Centre for Studies in Education and Innovation Instituto Politécnico de Viseu (PORTUGAL)
2 Instituto Politécnico Viseu (PORTUGAL)
About this paper:
Conference name: 13th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-6 July, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:Research reveal that children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), have sensory processing disorder. Empirical evidence confirms the existence of auditory sensory difficulties, which can be hyporeactivity or hyperreactivity. Studies have identified certain variables of the physical environment in the classroom, namely, lighting conditions, thermal environment and acoustics as impacting factors in children with ASD. It is deeply recognized, and legally established in countries like Portugal, guiding principles for an inclusive education. It is essential to make the school a pleasant place for all.
This study aims to identify the difficulties present in the daily lives of children with ASD in the context of sensory processing related to sound, exploring dynamics of inclusion, through this sensory approach. Our aim is: to understand the sensory processing of children with ASD in relation to sound; To use educational sound sensors to allow children to experience and act on noise in the school context; develop inclusive dynamics of effective participation of children with ASD.
We applied a questionnaire to 39 parents to understand their perception about sound sensory processing disorder of their children with ASD. We mobilize a quasi-experimental methodological approach to design an activity involving students from a 3rd grade primary school class which include a children with ASD. Children were invited to experience and propose ideas and actions to overcome noise issues in their school environment.
Results collected from the questionnaires answered by the parents, from pre-tests and post- tests answered by children involved in the activity as well as naturalistic observation during the activity, shows that clearly there is a presence of deficit in sensory processing in children with ASD, especially hypersensitivity. There are a worrying number of children with sensory disorder without therapy or specialized support. It is evident the presence of deficit in sensory processing in children diagnosed with ASD, especially hypersensitivity. There is a gap concerning parents and teachers knowledge and skills to deal with sensory disorder.
In the development of the activity, it was important for the children to measure and register the sound intensity, in different places and at different times, of their school in order to have a greater perception of noise and to realize that there are colleagues more sensitive to sound. The activity scaffold inclusion of all children, also with ASD. It was important to adapt tools and dynamics, taking into account capacities and skills of each one, assigning different tasks and responsibilities, developing sound awareness, becoming aware that change begin in each of us.
Keywords: Sound processing disorder, Autism sepctrum disorder, inclusion.