Using a Multi-Media Presentation to Analyze Thinking Patterns of Children with Autism

By Ching Mey See and Tang Keow Ngang.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Temple Grandin has suggested that rigidity in both behavior and thinking is a major characteristic of people with autism (Autism Today, 2002). “Rigid in thinking” in such children means taking information literally, focusing on details at the expense of the total concept, and having difficulties dealing with the multiple perspectives of abstract thinking. Other literature supports this view that people with autism are rigid in their thinking and have no theory of mind. Teachers, parents, or caregivers face difficulty in communicating with these children because it can be really hard to understand what they want, especially with those children that have little or no verbal communication. Therefore, it would be useful to understand an autistic child’s thinking so that his teachers, parents and caregivers can intervene and re-direct the thinking in the management of his behavior. Research has been conducted to address this issue at an autistic centre by using an audio-visual slide presentation which is divided up into the five themes, (a) color, (b) light, (c) visual, (d) perception, (e) cartoon, and (f) character. The audio-visual slide presentation was shown to 24 children with autism aged between 5-10 years old. Each child attended a 45 minutes session thrice weekly over six months. After the children had experienced the audio-visual presentation, they were asked to describe or draw what they had seen. Their drawings or descriptions were analyzed for their thinking pattern and conclusions have been drawn which form the basis for some behavioral therapies to direct attention to the present and to what they see.

Keywords: Thinking Pattern

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp.369-384. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.197MB).

Prof. Ching Mey See

Professor, School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Minden, Penang, Malaysia

See Ching Mey is a Professor in the School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia. Her areas of specialization are educational psychology, counseling psychology, counselor education, psychological testing, mental health, and special education with emphasis on autism. She conducts seminars and workshops, and is consulted on topics related to mental health, counseling, psychological testing, stress management, grief and bereavement, screening and diagnosis of special children, teaching and learning of children with special needs, and behavior management. She has published five academic books and about 200 international and national academic journal articles. She received the 2007 Alumni Citizenship Award (Ohio State University Alumni Association) in 2007, Sin Chew Kind Heart Award in 2006, and the Maal Hijrah Execellence Award from Universiti Sains Malaysia in 2006. In recent years, she has been invited to give keynote, plenary presentations, talks and workshops by national and international organizations from many countries.

Dr. Tang Keow Ngang

Senior Lecturer, School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Minden, Penang, Malaysia

Tang Keow Ngang is a senior lecturer in School of Educational Studies, Universiti Sains Malaysia. She has a B.Ed (Hons) in Malay Language and Commerce, a M.Ed and Ph.D in the fields of Educational Administration and Management. Her research interests revolve around teacher leadership and collaborative management. She has been a research leader on two USM short term grants and co-researchers in several research grants funded by Universiti Sains Malaysia, Centre of Malaysian Chinese Studies, Penang State Government Economic Planning Unit and Department of National Unity and Interaction.

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