THE IMPACT OF AUDIOVISUAL MEDIA ON CHILDREN WITH AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERS
In the modern world, we as well as children are surrounded by different audio-visual media on a daily basis. They are not only taking on an increasing role in the family environment, but also in the educational and rehabilitation paradigm. Looking at screens starts from the birth of a child, and the number of hours spent in front of the screen increases with the age of the child. Electronic media have different impacts on our sensory systems especially at an early age, the biggest impact being through the auditory and visual systems. Scientific knowledge about the impact of audiovisual media on children's communication competence is just at the beginning. Available research indicates potential benefits as well as negative aspects. The focus of the research in this paper is on the analysis of the impact of audiovisual media on the communication competence of children with autism spectrum disorders. The topic of this paper is based on a quantitative study of the impact of daily use of audiovisual content on communication competence of primary school children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders. By the analysis of the results of a survey on a representative sample of 40 children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders in the north of Croatia, the hypothesis was elaborated that the length of daily use of audiovisual content affects the communication competence of children with this specified disorder. A comparative analysis of the results obtained with the results of similar studies has led to the conclusion about the synergistic impact of audiovisual media on the communication competence of children with autism spectrum disorder. At the cognitive level, the scientific contribution was made through the development of specific communication competence of children with autism spectrum disorder under the influence of audiovisual media, and at the methodological level through the development of an original methodology of qualitative alignment of the attitudes of the respondents (parents and teachers) by applying statistical analysis of dynamic ontological parameters. Moreover, at practical level it contributed through the application of created information concepts in examining the impact of audiovisual media on the development of communication competence of children with autism spectrum disorder.