Research & Development
SOPAN is conducting a research study to estimate the incidence of prevalence of autismIndia. The study is being carried out as a sample survey from selected areas in the States of Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Goa, Karnataka and Kerala. This is the first study for determiningthe estimated population of children with autism in India.In the first stage of this study, a house to house survey is being undertaken in selected municipal wards of Mumbai city. The survey is done on children between the age of 2 ½ to 8 years.
Autism intervention is relatively new in India. Till recently, professionals could only get information on efficacy of intervention methods from researches done in the western world. However the felt need was to see the effectiveness of the methods on Indian children. These Indian studies have been published in national and internationals and books. Given below are their abstracts:
Lal Rubina (2005)Asia Pacific Disability Rehabilitation Journal Vol. 16 No. 1
A total of 80 schoolteachers and administrators participated in this surveyresearch conducted in the USA. The study investigated the effect of inclusiveeducational placement, on development of elementary school age childrenwith autism. The subjects were randomly selected from general schools,schools with resource rooms, schools with special classes, and special classeslocated in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. Whereas the teachers (N=44)were required to respond on development of language and social behaviourin children with autism, their teaching strategies and available supportsystem, the administrators (N=36) reported on the existing instructionalpractices, physical environment and related services in their schools. Theresults indicated that development of language and social behaviours inautistic children did not differ significantly across the educational settings.A positive correlation existed between teaching strategies and supportservices and development of language and social behaviour.
Lal, Rubina and Lobo, Shiante (2007) Journal of Rehabilitation Council of India Vol. 3 no 2
The purpose of this experimental research was to determine the effect of Discrete Trial teaching on the development of pre-learning skills in autistic children with mental retardation. A sample of 20 children was randomly selected for the study. Subjects were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups and tested on pre-learning skills prior to intervention. Discrete Trial Teaching method was used to train the experimental group on pre-learning skills. Intervention consisted of 15 individual sessions of 30 minutes each. At the end of the intervention period, the children in both experimental and control groups were posttested. The findings suggest that Discrete Trial Teaching has a positive effect on development of pre-learning skills. Children in the experimental group showed significant improvement in pre-learning skills from pre to posttest.
Lal, Rubina and Bali, Meeta (2007) Asia Pacific Disability Rehabilitation Journal Vol. 18 no 2
Thirty children with autism from special education schools in Mumbai, participated in the experimental research that aimed to document the effect of visual strategy training on development of communication skills and compare its effectiveness with existing classroom instructions. Objects, pictures, symbols and manual signs were used as visual tools. The treatment group received 14 one-to-one sessions. Each session focused on development of comprehension, labeling, description, joint attention and active interaction through visual supports. Analysis of data showed a significant improvement in communication skills of children in the experimental group. Visual strategies were found to be effective in development of communication skills in children across the age range of 5 to 11 years.
Lal, Rubina (2010) Educational Research and Reviews Vol. 5 (3)
Teaching children with autism is a challenging task for educators and parents, as the children
display marked deficits in language and social behaviors. One of the major goals of an interventionprogram for children with autism is to provide them a method of functional communication and ampleopportunities to practice these skills. For some children with autism, a communication system thatuses alternative and augmentative forms of expression may be necessary. Children with autism (N = 8)between the ages of 9 and 12 years were selected from special schools in Mumbai for this experimentalresearch. The study aimed to determine the effectiveness of Makaton Vocabulary Language Program, asystem of alternative and augmentative communication (AAC), on development of language and socialbehavior of children with autism. The subjects received 12 sessions of language intervention usingAAC. Language assessment tool for autistic children (LATCA) and social behavior rating scale (SBRS)were used as instruments for measurement. While the researcher administered LATCA, the classroomteachers used the SBRS as a checklist for social behavior. The comparison of their pre and post testmean scores showed a significant change in language and social behavior. Use of AAC had a positiveeffect on development of receptive and expressive language. AAC usage was also found effective inenhancing social behavior of children with autism.
Key Words: Autism, AAC, language and social behavior, makaton vocabulary language programme.
Lal, Rubina and Shahane, Anagha (2011) In Williams, T.(Ed.)Autism Spectrum Disorders: from Genes to Environment
Introduction: This paper presents the findings of a research study on TEACCH based intervention for learners with autism. TEACCH (Treatment and Education of Autistic and other Communication handicapped Children) follows a structured teaching approach. This approach addresses the characteristics and learning needs of individuals with autism. Structured teaching involves modifications of four components: physical organization, visual schedules, work systems and task organization. Physical organization refers to the structuring of a student’s environment. Physical boundaries are defined to help a student understand where activities are to take place. Visual schedules can be used to make a student understand the sequence of activities. They can take many forms depending on the individual need and level of functioning of the user. Schedules may be written for those learners who have the ability to read. For non readers, pictures or icons may be used. For those who require concrete representation, miniature objects may be included in the schedule. Work systems help a student understand what and how much work is to be completed, and what is expected of the student once the work is done. Work systems enable a student to work independently. Finally, task organization involves structuring independent work tasks to clarify what is required to be done and how it should be done.
Key words: Autism, independent work behaviour,TEACCH based intervention
Lal, Rubina and Ganesan, Kripa (2011) British Journal of Educational Research 1(1)
Introduction: This paper presents the findings of an experimental research that determined the effect of a social story intervention on development of self management of behavior in children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Social stories, developed by Carol Gray, are simple stories that describe social events and situations that are difficult for a person with ASD to understand. A social story facilitates social understanding between people who have ASD and those who interact with them.
Results and Conclusion: A comparison of pre and post scores on RSSM of treatment group children showed a significant improvement. Also, their mean performance on RSSM post treatment was significantly higher than that of the control group. This indicated that social stories intervention was effective in enhancing self management behavior in children with ASD.
Keywords : ASD; social story; self management of behaviour;
Lal, Rubina and Chhabria, Rakhee (2013) In Fitzgerald M. (Ed.) Recent Advances in Autism Spectrum Disorders
Key words: Autism spectrum disorders, Social skills, Floortime approach