Developmental Challenges In ASD Essay

Question:

Discuss about the Developmental Challenges in ASD.

Answer:

Introduction to the research

The current research focuses on the aspect of learning developmental challenges of preschooler children affected with autism spectrum disorder in Australia. The literature review had been conducted over here with respect to understanding the mental dilemmas of the parents of the children affected with ASD. It results in huge mental burden and additional level of stress in the parents of the children affected with such disorder (Ly & Goldberg, 2014). Here, support have been taken from a number of secondary literature sources and journals to provide an effective picture of the scenario of children affected with ASD and the role played by their caregivers and the parents in helping them cope with learning difficulties. Reports and evidences have suggested a direct link to be present within parental fatigue and developmental disorder in children (Mandy et al., 2018). In majority of the cases the parents of the children affected with ASD have been seen to develop higher propensities for the development of anxiety disorders and depression (Christensen et al., 2016). The article further focuses upon finding out the relation between the mechanisms of pathway, which can contribute towards the development of parental stress. The parenting stress could be further divided into behaviour, cognitive and affective components (Mendelson, Gates & Lerner, 2016). Further study and report have shown that autism spectrum in children have seen to affect the quality of life of the parents. However, there is lack of studies which clearly defines the psychological and demographic factors, which affects the quality of life of the parents of children affected with ASD (Young-Pearse & Morrow, 2016). The current study has been designed with an aim to find out the research gap and find out coping strategies for dealing with the learning difficulties and associated anxiety in children with ASD.

Autism spectrum disorder is a wide area and has been seen to cause significant developmental delay within the children. As commented by Klin, Klaiman & Jones (2015), children with ASD do not develop sufficient understanding of time, space and objects and relate less intelligently with the environmental stimulus. They are more dependent upon their parents and caregivers and associated their custody with safety. This often becomes challenging for the parents to cope up with huge demand levied upon them by the children. As supported by Wood et al. (2015), children with ASD may struggle with maintaining an effective emotional control and depict higher levels of frustration. Hence, the literature review undertaken over here helps in developing a clear understanding of the different parameters which regulates the social life as well as the behavioural aspects of parents of children affected with ASD.

The research aims have been discussed in points as below:

  • To critically evaluate the learning developmental patterns of preschoolers affected with ASD
  • To critically analyse the effects of ASD on the learning of the preschoolers
  • To critically evaluate the effects of the learning difficulties of preschoolers with ASD on the mental health of their parents

Methodology of the research

The methodology of the research is crucial in determining the success of the research project. In the current research a secondary research design has been adopted where sufficient number of evidence based journals has been gathered from secondary databases such as EBSCOhost and Google scholar. These articles have been further reviewed for doing the literature analysis.

A number of keywords have been used of dining out the right articles which have been further used for conducting of the review. For finding out the correct and authentic articles a number of inclusion and exclusion criteria had been applied by the researcher. Some of which are languages, year of publication, article type whether peer reviewed journal or simple random articles be taken for the study. Additionally, some of the Boolean phrases have been used over here such as AND, OR for finding the correct article sources. On the other hand the articles printed in language other than English have been avoided and not considered for the literature review. The articles which are older than the last 18 years have not been considered for the review. The articles were collected using secondary databases using the keywords generated. The hits generated otherwise with irrelevant keywords were avoided. The researcher ensured that the out of the many articles generated a proportionate amount of articles which were peer reviewed were taken into consideration. As mentioned by Szatmari et al. (2016), the comprehensively summarised article helped the researcher in developing a clear conception regarding the topic area of interest.

The research was appraised using narrative review where the researcher has used evidence based information cited in different secondary articles and journals. This helped the researcher in comparing highly evidenced data, which helped in removing the different research biases. The researcher had further studied the articles in detail based upon which he had divided the articles into similar dissimilar themes. These were used by the researcher for conducting of a thematic analysis. The results from the thematic analysis had been further used by the researcher for arriving at statistically significant results. Some of these were represented in the form of graphs and charts which were further used to focus upon the research problem and designing of effective solutions for coping up with the learning difficulties in children.

Critical summary of the literature

For conducting the literature review a number of secondary journals and databases have been taken into consideration. The articles have been searched using different keywords and inclusion exclusion criteria. The articles which did not fall into any of the search history or criteria where excluded. This helped in analysing the research topic in depth, as huge amount of superfluous information can affect the interpretation of data and quality of results generated. The articles were selected with a view of providing equal weight to each and every parameter such as the rate of developmental disorder or delay present in the children, the role of the caregivers and the mental dilemmas of the parents of the children affected with ASD. In the review sufficient importance has been given to the various socio demographic factors which affect the quality of the research.

Article

Aim

Methodology

Findings

Seymour, M., Wood, C., Giallo, R., & Jellett, R. (2013). Fatigue, stress and coping in mothers of children with an autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 43(7), 1547-1554.

To identify the effect of emotional distress in children over maternal health.

The present scenario a cross sectional study was undertaken where the participants (mothers of the children affected with ASD) were selected by chance alone and their responses compared through pen and paper mode analysis.

However, the literature source had a number of limitations such as small sample size, over representation of some sample population within the study. The study followed a cross sectional research design hence it was not possible to effectively draw a link between the different research variables

Article

Aim

Methodology

Findings

Critical evaluation

Hardin, B. J., Mereoiu, M., Hung, H. F., & Roach-Scott, M. (2009). Investigating parent and professional perspectives concerning special education services for preschool Latino children. Early Childhood Education Journal, 37(2), 93-102.

the purpose of the study was to identify effective practices that differentiate between cultural differences and learning differences, identification of the gaps in the current special education services, make recommendations to reduce the disproportionate representation of young ELL children based on data

Data for the study was gathered though six focus groups in two different geographical locations. The focus group for the interview consisted of 15 administrators, 11 teacher and 5 parents

The study further revealed that although experts are taking the intuitive to meet the various requirements of the children with Learning disorder and ASD. There are a number of challenges in the form of lack of clarity regarding the methods and approaches which should be adopted for teaching the children

the open ended questionnaire helped the researcher analyse and identify the faith and beliefs of the parents and the educators

the small sample size of the focus group limited the findings of the study

Article

Aim

Methodology

Findings

Critical evaluation

Siller, M., & Sigman, M. (2002). The behaviors of parents of children with autism predict the subsequent development of their children's communication. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 32(2), 77-89.

To examine and implement a variety of tools and programs that parents can implement to support the learning and development of their children affected with ASD

Families of children with ASD were screened via phone and the ones who met the inclusion criteria were e called for clinical assessment. A six months intervention program combining two evidence based approaches were undertaken such as JASPER and EMT, which are social media communication intervention which is aimed at improving joint engagement, early social communication in children suffering from developmental delay.

on analysis of the research it was found that parents who had shown better inclusion within the intervention methods were more successful in engaging their children in interactions

The lack of stability in children’s engagement and large amount of time spent on unengaged objects crates a difficult situation for the social partner to navigate

Article

Aim

Methodology

Findings

Critical evaluation

Knight, S. (2016). Forest School: A Model for Learning Holistically and Outdoors. In The Palgrave International Handbook of Alternative Education (pp. 289-304). Palgrave Macmillan, London.

The aim of the study was to find out the perspectives of young children with ASD , their parents and educational professionals about their forest school experience

A thematic analysis of the data had been conducted by the researcher

Some of the common themes which emerged from the interview process were taken to be learning outcomes. Additionally, the benefits of engaging in challenge and risk taking were highlighted

there was lack of creative and flexible methodologies and small size sample limited the findings of the research

Article

Aim

Methodology

Findings

Critical evaluation

Ahmad, M. M., & Dardas, L. A. (2015). The hidden patients: Fathers of children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, 40(4), 368-375.

The research aimed to find out necessary understanding of the characteristics of fathers of children with ASD and the condition of the children affect the quality of their daily lives

cross-sectional data collected form 101 such fathers though self administered questionnaires were utilised

It was found that family income, age of the child, dysfunctional child parents interaction contributed less significantly in affecting the mental health of the father of the children with ASD. However, there were other factors which affected the mental health of the father of a child with ASD significantly

The research undertaken could contribute effectively in the designing of effective policies which would acts as effective supportive programs for fathers who had children affected with ASD.

Article

Aim

Methodology

Findings

Shire, S. Y., Goods, K., Shih, W., Distefano, C., Kaiser, A., Wright, C., ... & Kasari, C. (2015). Parents’ adoption of social communication intervention strategies: Families including children with autism spectrum disorder who are minimally verbal. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 45(6), 1712-1724.

The research study was undertaken over here to find out the extent to which the extent of communication of the caregivers of children with ASD can affect their language and speech development

Children with autism were recruited as participants from local special education programs. ANNOVA was conducted of the mental age and the demographics of the children affected with developmental delay

from the analysis, it was found that children with autism spent the same duration playing with toys as children with normal cognitive abilities did

Article

Aim

Methodology

Findings

Donato, C., Shane, H. C., & Hemsley, B. (2014). Exploring the feasibility of the Visual Language in Autism program for children in an early intervention group setting: Views of parents, educators, and health professionals. Developmental neurorehabilitation, 17(2), 115-124.

To understand the view of key stakeholders on using visual support for children with developmental disabilities in early intervention groups

interview was conducted using three focus groups –parents, educators and health professionals

lack of time, limited services and negative attitude in society were found were stated as common barriers to using visual supports (Van Hees, Moyson, & Roeyers, 2015)


Discussion

Research and evidences have linked high levels of mental stress with the mothers of the children affected with ASD. The literature review analyses the learning difficulties faced by the parents of preschoolers affected with ASD. This could be further explained with the help of a number of theories and models. The transactional model of child behavioural problems has been used by the researcher in order to evaluate the levels of parental stress. In this respect, four such coping strategies have been seen to be used by parents of children affected with ASD which are – 1. Active avoidance coping based on substance abuse, venting of emotions and self blame 2. Problem focused coping, which is based upon taking action to address the problem and seek instrumental support, 3. Positive coping which is guided by an acceptance of the present situation and working towards bringing about positive changes, 4. Religious denial, where it is assumed that the problem situation does not exist at all. As commented by Majoko (2016), stress is a process which involves interaction and adjustment between the person and their respective environment. Further investigations have supported that there exist a direct link between learning difficulties in children and development of fatigue, which leads to adopting maladaptive coping strategies in parents (Durkin et al., 2015). The parents of a child affected with ASD are often sceptical about the future of their children in terms of career growth and lifelong security. As commented by Mandy et al. (2018), lack of sufficient infrastructure and dearth of special education schools further makes it difficult for the parents to provide their child with the relevant standards of primary school education. Additionally, the children affected with ASD are more dependent on their parents or caregivers for emotional support. Therefore, detaching them from their comfort zone and projecting them to the strict learning environment of a school can make them depict aggressive behaviour. The aggressive behaviour depicted by the children affected with ASD often makes impairing education to them difficult by parents alone. Hence they often look from help from an autism support care.

Form the discussion around the literature it could be stated that a number of societal factors such as lack of awareness , lack of participation from a number of multi-level health care channels have affected the quality of the care services delivered in ASD. In this respect, support and cooperation from a number of state and federal government agencies are required to help the parents cope up with the excessive demand put upon them by their children affected with ASD (Allen, Vatland, Bowen & Burke, 2015).

Limitations of the research

A number of limitations were faced by the researcher over here such as limited data availability, time constraints etc. Additionally, the changes of measurement standards over time make historical comparisons difficult. The older documents are not representative of the wider population.

References

Ahmad, M. M., & Dardas, L. A. (2015). The hidden patients: Fathers of children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Intellectual and Developmental Disability, 40(4), 368-375. Retrieved from :

Allen, K. D., Vatland, C., Bowen, S. L., & Burke, R. V. (2015). An evaluation of parent-produced video self-modeling to improve independence in an adolescent with intellectual developmental disorder and an autism spectrum disorder: A controlled case study. Behavior modification, 39(4), 542-556. Retrieved from :

Brian, J. A., Bryson, S. E., & Zwaigenbaum, L. (2015). Autism spectrum disorder in infancy: developmental considerations in treatment targets. Current opinion in neurology, 28(2), 117-123. doi: 10.1097/WCO.0000000000000182

Christensen, D. L., Bilder, D. A., Zahorodny, W., Pettygrove, S., Durkin, M. S., Fitzgerald, R. T., ... & Yeargin-Allsopp, M. (2016). Prevalence and characteristics of autism spectrum disorder among 4-year-old children in the autism and developmental disabilities monitoring network. Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 37(1), 1-8. doi: 10.1097/DBP.0000000000000235

Donato, C., Shane, H. C., & Hemsley, B. (2014). Exploring the feasibility of the Visual Language in Autism program for children in an early intervention group setting: Views of parents, educators, and health professionals. Developmental neurorehabilitation, 17(2), 115-124. Retrieved from :

Durkin, M. S., Elsabbagh, M., Barbaro, J., Gladstone, M., Happe, F., Hoekstra, R. A., ... & Tager?Flusberg, H. (2015). Autism screening and diagnosis in low resource settings: challenges and opportunities to enhance research and services worldwide. Autism Research, 8(5), 473-476. DOI: 10.1002/aur.1575

Hardin, B. J., Mereoiu, M., Hung, H. F., & Roach-Scott, M. (2009). Investigating parent and professional perspectives concerning special education services for preschool Latino children. Early Childhood Education Journal, 37(2), 93-102. Retrieved from :

Klin, A., Klaiman, C., & Jones, W. (2015). Reducing age of autism diagnosis: developmental social neuroscience meets public health challenge. Revista de neurologia, 60, S3. Retrieved from :

Knight, S. (2016). Forest School: A Model for Learning Holistically and Outdoors. In The Palgrave International Handbook of Alternative Education (pp. 289-304). Palgrave Macmillan, London. Retrieved from :

Ly, A. R., & Goldberg, W. A. (2014). New measure for fathers of children with developmental challenges. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 58(5), 471-484. DOI: 10.1111/jir.12044

Majoko, T. (2016). Inclusion of children with autism spectrum disorders: Listening and hearing to voices from the grassroots. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 46(4), 1429-1440. Retrieved from :

Mandy, W., Clarke, K., McKenner, M., Strydom, A., Crabtree, J., Lai, M. C., ... & Skuse, D. (2018). Assessing Autism in Adults: An Evaluation of the Developmental, Dimensional and Diagnostic Interview—Adult Version (3Di-Adult). Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 48(2), 549-560. Retrieved from :

Mendelson, J. L., Gates, J. A., & Lerner, M. D. (2016). Friendship in school-age boys with autism spectrum disorders: A meta-analytic summary and developmental, process-based model. Psychological bulletin, 142(6), 601. Retrieved from :

Seymour, M., Wood, C., Giallo, R., & Jellett, R. (2013). Fatigue, stress and coping in mothers of children with an autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 43(7), 1547-1554. Retrieved from :

Shire, S. Y., Goods, K., Shih, W., Distefano, C., Kaiser, A., Wright, C., ... & Kasari, C. (2015). Parents’ adoption of social communication intervention strategies: Families including children with autism spectrum disorder who are minimally verbal. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 45(6), 1712-1724. Retrieved from :

Siller, M., & Sigman, M. (2002). The behaviors of parents of children with autism predict the subsequent development of their children's communication. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 32(2), 77-89. Retrieved from :

Szatmari, P., Chawarska, K., Dawson, G., Georgiades, S., Landa, R., Lord, C., ... & Halladay, A. (2016). Prospective longitudinal studies of infant siblings of children with autism: lessons learned and future directions. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 55(3), 179-187. DOI:

Taylor, J. L., & Seltzer, M. M. (2011). Employment and post-secondary educational activities for young adults with autism spectrum disorders during the transition to adulthood. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 41(5), 566-574. Retrieved from :

Van Hees, V., Moyson, T., & Roeyers, H. (2015). Higher education experiences of students with autism spectrum disorder: Challenges, benefits and support needs. Journal of autism and developmental disorders, 45(6), 1673-1688. Retrieved from :

Wood, J. J., Ehrenreich-May, J., Alessandri, M., Fujii, C., Renno, P., Laugeson, E., ... & Murphy, T. K. (2015). Cognitive behavioral therapy for early adolescents with autism spectrum disorders and clinical anxiety: A randomized, controlled trial. Behavior Therapy, 46(1), 7-19. Retrieved from :

Young-Pearse, T. L., & Morrow, E. M. (2016). Modeling developmental neuropsychiatric disorders with iPSC technology: challenges and opportunities. Current opinion in neurobiology, 36, 66-73. Retrieved from :

Zwaigenbaum, L., Bauman, M. L., Choueiri, R., Fein, D., Kasari, C., Pierce, K., ... & McPartland, J. C. (2015). Early identification and interventions for autism spectrum disorder: executive summary. Pediatrics, 136(Supplement 1), S1-S9. Retrieved from :

How to cite this essay: