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ΑΡΘΡΑ / ΔΗΜΟΣΙΕΥΣΕΙΣ

Longitudinal Study of High and Low Functioning Preschool Children with ASD and the Progress Made Following Therapeutic Intervention

 

Longitudinal Study of High and Low Functioning Preschool Children with ASD and the Progress Made Following Therapeutic Intervention

Kotsopoulou Angelique, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Day Centre for Children with Developmental Disorders.

Georgiou Anastasia, Sociologist, Day Centre for Children with Developmental Disorders.

Gyftogianni Aikaterini, Speech language therapist, Day Centre for Children with Developmental Disorders.

Gyftogianni Maria, Speech language therapist, Day Centre for Children with Developmental Disorders.

Florou Irene, Ph.D., Psychologist, Day Centre for Children with Developmental Disorders.

Palaiodimou Eleonora, M.Sc., Psychologist, Day Centre for Children with Developmental Disorders.

Troupou Antigoni, Speech language therapist, Day Centre for Children with Developmental Disorders.

Koumanioti Efthimia, MBA, Economist, Day Centre for Children with Developmental Disorders.

The present study addresses three problem areas among preschool children with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder): co-occurring psychiatric problems, speech-language and feeding difficulties, and progress of low functioning (globally retarded) children in most areas of development. Fifty children with ASD (mean age 3 years) were studied. Three therapists of different disciplines (the first to see and treat the children) examined carefully the files of the children, tests, notes and ΕΔΑΛΦΑ (special multidisciplinary tool) to classify the problems of the children. All children presented with co-occurring psychiatric problems such as: externalization 74%, ADH 54%, internalization 52%. Children in the average intelligence presented with higher levels of ADH (attention deficit hyperactivity problems) difficulties. Most children presented more than two co-morbitities, but contrary to our hypothesis, low functioning children presented with fewer co-morbitities. Four speech language pathologists (those who saw and evaluated the children when they were first enrolled in therapy) after meticulous study of the children’s files, notes, tests and ΕΔΑΛΦΑ records found the following: all children (100%) presented with receptive and expressive language problems, a high proportion (64%) had developmental dyspraxia (verbal and oral), 18% never developed speech (all of them had oral dyspraxia), 28% had phonological disorder and 28% feeding difficulties. Thirty two children received therapy for almost two years (mean 21.90 months) and had one to three ΕΔΑΛΦΑ re-evaluations. The average range of progress made ranged from 15.41 months (psychosocial development) to 26.34 months (everyday living skills). Even children globally retarded (RAVEN < 60) made progress 4.63 months (expressive language) to 18.57 months (cognitive development). Intelligence and receptive language skills were highly correlated with progress.

 

Keywords: ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), preschool children, co-occurring psychiatric problems, language deficits, therapy, progress, high and low functioning children

http://www.epsypea.gr/media/www.epsypea.gr/File_pdf/ΑΡΘΡΟ PSYCHOLOGY RESEARCH 2021.pdf

 

Parents of Children With Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as Co-therapists: The Therapists’ View

Parents of Children With Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) as Co-therapists: The Therapists’ View

Angelique Kotsopoulou, Ermioni Papadaki, Irene Florou , Antigoni Troupou, Dimitra Kolosioni, Anastasia Georgiou, Maria Gyftogianni, Aikaterini Gyftogianni, Athina Iliopoulou, Eleonora Paleodimou, Marigo Sakellari, Efthimia Koumanioti

Day Centre for Children with Developmental Disorders, Messolonghi, Greece

 

Studies on the evaluation by therapists of parental behavior towards their children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and towards the therapists of their children are scarce. They are necessary, however, for enabling parents to become co-therapists. The present study’s purpose was the evaluation by therapists of the behavior of parents towards their children, of their relationship to therapists, and therapy outcome. The sample consisted of 178 parents of 89 children (72 boys) with ASD, who underwent intensive early intervention at a day centre for developmental disabilities. The professional team completed a questionnaire, separately for the mother and father, evaluating the parental attitude towards their children and towards the therapists. The behavior of parents was less satisfactory than expected. The fathers had difficulties in understanding their child’s problems, and had unrealistic expectations; mothers’ behavior towards their children and therapists was better than the fathers’. Mothers had difficulty mostly in the management of the child’s behavior, and did not do well with feeding. It might be difficult for every parent to become co-therapist. Understanding the child’s difficulties by the mother, adequate handling of feeding and homework, were statistically significant in the good outcome of therapy.

Keywords: Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), parents, co-therapists, stress, expectations, collaboration homework

 

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http://www.epsypea.gr/media/www.epsypea.gr/File_pdf/ΑΡΘΡΟ PSYCHOLOGY RESEARCH 2021.pdf

Systematic Intervention for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Integration in Regular School Classes: A Naturalistic Study

Systematic Intervention for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Integration in Regular School Classes: A Naturalistic Study

 
Sotiris I. Kotsopoulos, MD, PhD, FRCPC1 ,
Katerina Karaivazoglou, MD, PhD (child psychiatrist)1,
Irene S. Florou, Msc (psychologist)1,
Maria I. Gyftogianni, MA (speech therapist)1,
Ermioni J. Papadaki, MA (social worker)1,
and Angelique Kotsopoulou, PhD (speech pathologist)1
 
Abstract
 
Objective of the present study was the assessment of the effect of a systematic community intervention offered at
an early age to 32 children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), 2 to 5 year after completion of treatment while
attending public school classes. The intervention had been offered at a community Day Centre and lasted 3 years.
On assessment all children showed clinical improvement and significant results on Childhood Autism Rating Scale
(CARS) and Vineland Adaptive Scales and 13 scored below criteria for autism on Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale-2
(ADOS-2). Most performed adequately at school whilst 12 required academic assistance. No major disruptive
behavior difficulties were reported.
 
Keywords : autism spectrum disorders, early systematic intervention, integration in mainstream classes
Received March 3, 2021. Accepted for publication April 1, 2021.
 
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