L’étude de cas ci présent concerne un enfant de 12 ans présentant un retard mental modéré et un trouble du spectre autistique. Le problème qui donnait des inquiétudes à ses parents était la présence de crise de colères incontrôlables. Une évaluation psychologique de l’enfant avait complétée pour comprendre les difficultés, les capacités et les émergences de l’enfant. L’utilisation de différentes techniques comportementales donnait de résultats graduels et partiels. Dans un second temps une péjoration des crises de colères en fréquence et en durée mit en échecs les approches utilisées. Les crises de colère avaient un caractère destructif envers lui-même ainsi que envers les autres. Finalement des techniques aversives furent mises en place après avoir utilisés beaucoup d’autre techniques sans résultats valable. Les résultats de cette dernière approche ont montré des résultats positifs et durables.
To assess occupational, cognitive and social abilities as well as well being of individuals with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities (ID), the only available material relies on interviews of proxies such as families and carers. These interviews only provide subjective measures of behaviour and are mainly based on qualitative description of patients’ skills. One of the delicate problems faced when trying to assess directly patients with ID is that they lack or have reduced verbal skills. Therefore, there is a lack of methodologies allowing to directly quantify patients’ abilities.
In parallel, one of the major problems of individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is the presence of pervasive behavioural disorders. The ASD population displays a triad of symptoms involving social interaction and communication impairments, restricted interests and repetitive stereotyped activities. The lack of comprehension of-, and of interaction with their environment is likely to be at the origin of ASD behavioural disorders, which impair their quality of life, and represent a major problem for their integration. We choose to focus on the understanding of social signals because it could help adapting communication between carers and patients. In addition, hierarchical models exist that attribute a major role to eye gaze processing in the development of social cognition, mechanisms which are disrupted in individuals with ASD. As a matter of fact, the inability to comprehend other’s gaze would be responsible of the incapacity or the difficulty in building a “theory of mind” that could allow to predict others' behaviour, and to compute unobservable mental states such as intentions, desires and beliefs from the overt behaviour of others. We wished to study the first step of the “Theory of mind”, i.e. how ASD adults process direct eye gaze as opposed to averted gaze..
In addition, to our knowledge most experiments investigating the understanding and utilization of social signals in ASD were carried out either on children with ASD and/or on high functioning autistic or adults with Asperger Syndrome, and implicated verbal instructions. There is a lack of information about how such signals are utilized both at a more mature age and in more severely affected adults, probably because of methodological difficulties.
Consequently the first goal of the proposed study was to develop and test non verbal methodologies to evaluate socio-cognitive abilities of patients with ID, and by extension with ASD. We planned to use spontaneous eye movements (recorded with an eye tracker), and goal directed pointing (recorded with a touch screen). With those methodologies, we wanted to measure whether ASD adults with ID, like typical adults, will detect faster a pair of photographed staring eyes amongst averted gazes isolated from front view faces, rather than the reversed. In the second experiment, we wished to examine the influence of realistic facial context, i.e. whether eye contact presented in averted faces with real contour could elicit an eye contact asymmetry in ASD population. This hopefully will shade a light of whether ASD adults can ultimately compute eye contact in a whole face when displayed with incongruent (but not conflicting) directional cues. In addition for both experiments, we expected to measure whether several directional distracters can elicit spontaneous attention following. Finally the ultimate goal was to develop a battery of socio-cognitive tests, and to shape a rehabilitation program for patients’ social gaze.
Research in the kindergarten area is always a great and constant challenge, especially when it comes to the field of Special Education. The reasons are self-evident, in this study we mention the key ones. Children of the sensitive preschool age face huge developmental changes that occur in physical, emotional, social and mental development. The pre-school age is the most appropriate period to provide systematic education and training from the formal educational system.
However research both in the Pre-school area and in the area of Special Education are limited because, only in the last decades, was scientific emphasis placed in this area. Surely the great need to create specific curricula and teaching methods is obvious, a new pedagogy-oriented holistic approach to building knowledge to meet the specific needs and capacities of children with disabilities and special educational needs. “Needs which require a special treatment and support in order to be me” (Stasinos, D. 1991).
The inaugural period, as mentioned above, is Pre-school Education, in order to achieve the continuous development of the child without altering its character and to supply it with the means to acquire dignified position, using the whole of its willpower.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most frequently diagnosed child psychiatric disorders which manifest itself in early childhood, American Psychiatric Association, (1994). The objective of the present study to find out the prevalence of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and the personal correlates (like Gender, Consanguineous marital status, Order of birth and Parental monthly Income) among Adolescents. Sample for the current study consisted of 1125 adolescents (Boys=627, Girls=498) randomly selected from Government-aided, private and concept schools in three north coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh. It’s a Descriptive and survey method which was exploratory in nature to examine the prevalence of ADHD among adolescents. For this study we used the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Self-report (11-18 yrs) developed by Raju & Tarakaramarao (2013). The findings revealed that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and sub- types od ADHA are in association with personal correlates like Gender, Consanguineous marital status, Order of birth and Parental monthly Income.
The field of Down syndrome (trisomy 21) is evolving. Medical and health care are more available. Behavioral rehabilitation techniques are made more precise and are gaining in efficiency. Each and every family concerned with the condition, not only those in Western societies, should be able to benefit from these progresses.
Even if we are only at the beginning, the prospect for an efficient cognitive pharmacotherapy is better than a few years ago. Promising perspectives also exist regarding genetic and epigenetic therapeutic approaches. The latter years have witnessed important progresses in research thanks to the creation of animal models of trisomy 21. Clinical applications at the human level have already begun.
And yet, at the same time, in a growing number of Western countries, in particular, the right to be born is denied to fetuses diagnosed with Down syndrome who are aborted within the first months of pregnancy.
The paper summarizes major information regarding the present state of the question and what may be reasonably expected in the near and longer-term future for persons with Down syndrome.