1 University of Natural Sciences and Humanities in Siedlce (POLAND)
2 University of Natural Sciences and Humanities (POLAND)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN17 Proceedings
Publication year: 2017
Pages: 8288-8297
ISBN: 978-84-697-3777-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2017.0534
Conference name: 9th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2017
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Contemporary medicine understands more and more about autism. Nevertheless, both etiology and treatment of the disorder remain a mystery. This makes autism an incurable illness.

Difficulties include diagnosing children for symptoms of autism and therapy, which requires extraordinary commitment on the part of parents of an autistic child. The disease is so diverse that it is practically impossible to identify two individuals presenting identical symptoms (sings).

The diagnosis, treatment, and even the definition of autism are subject to numerous publications and research. Autism is said to be a developmental disorder, typically manifested within the first three years of life secondary to a neurological disorder, which affects brain functioning. In addition, it is often referred to as a spectrum disorder, which means that its characteristic features and symptoms may have multiple and varied interrelations, from minor to major ones.

The main symptoms of autism are avoidance of social communication, lack of formation of social bonds, and social isolation (seclusion). Despite the fact that the disease is not related to physical pain, it gives one a much worse type of pain – mental pain. Faces of autistic children do not show any changes indicative of autism. However, an affected child is not understood and perceived as “strange” by most of his environment.

Autism affects between 2 and 5 per 5000 children. Even though it is four times more common in boys than it is in girls, developmental problems originating from autism are more severe in the case of the latter.

Seventy years of research in autism have allowed one to comprehend the disease in as much as to define it, isolate its kinds and specify types of treatment.

Undoubtedly, medicine is closer and closer to finding answers to questions about disease etiology, but therapy and education of autistic children, which should begin as early as possible, are becoming increasingly important, too.

The process of teaching and raising autistic children should be carried out both in preschool and at home, i.e. in child’s closest environment, because suitable preschool education gives autistic children a great opportunity to develop.

Key Polish legislation setting forth the principles of educating autistic children in preschool includes two basic laws.

The first is the Law on the System of Education, which provides for a possibility to attend all types of preschools by disabled or socially maladapted children, in accordance with their individual developmental and educational needs and predisposition. Under the Law, disabled children may attend general-access preschools together with healthy children.

The second legal act is the Regulation of the Minister for National Education on the conditions of organization of education, upbringing and care of disabled children, socially maladjusted children, and children at risk of social maladjustment.

The article presents a case study of an autistic child attending a publicly available preschool in the town of Biała Podlaska, Poland.
Autism, child, kindergarten, preschool education.