PRELIMINARY RESULTS OF MOOD ASSESSMENT IN AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER ON COMPLETION OF A COMMUNICATIVE AND SOCIO-EMOTIONAL TRAINING PROGRAMME
Universidad de Valladolid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 13th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 5-6 July, 2021
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:Autism spectrum disorder is characterized by difficulties in social communication and reciprocal social interaction, as well as in the behavioural sphere, showing repetitive, restricted and inflexible behaviour and interests. These deficits have to be present for the establishment of an ASD diagnosis. Among teenage students with autism spectrum disorders, the literature highlights the frequent occurrence of mood (affective) disorders.
In this paper we report on the preliminary results of an evaluation conducted on the depressive symptomatology of three adolescent students (two boys and a girl) participating in a psychoeducational intervention programme for persons with neuronal diversity — specifically with autism spectrum and related disorders. The ultimate goal is to enhance both their personal and their educational experience. Their depressive symptoms were assessed before and after the intervention (pre-test and post-test evaluation). The approach of the intervention programme consisted in starting from the positive aspects and strengths of persons with autism spectrum disorder (e.g. visuospatial function, mechanical memory, attention to detail) in order to then work on those areas where they experience the greatest difficulties (through work modules on social, communicative and emotional skills).
The results obtained are discussed in the light of those achieved in related published research, while connections are established between the findings produced by the evaluation of depressive symptoms and their educational impacts. The paper concludes with a discussion of the educational implications of these findings against the backdrop of the previous literature on socio-emotional and communicative education for this target population. The relevance of working on these aspects in educational settings so as to ease emotional difficulties is emphasised, as well as the benefits and overall improvement to be derived by students, also in terms of their academic performance and learning outcomes at school. For all these reasons, this paper foregrounds the importance of paying special attention and care to the students’ mood and affective state in their educational environment, as well as the usefulness of similar interventions targeted at persons with neuronal diversity.
Keywords: Diversity, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Education, Intervention, Depression