Special education is the most effective treatment of autism known today
Prof. Dr. Gönül Kırcaali İftar and EUL Academician Hatice Bilmez attended the program titled “Behavioural Education Program aimed at Autistic Kids” organized by the European University of Lefke (EUL) Education and Research Center for Children with Special Needs (ÖÇEM) as speakers.
Kırcaali: There are a wide range of educational methods for children with autism
Describing autism as a complex neuro-developmental disability that is congenital and manifests in childhood, Kırcaali said that the most prominent features of autism are inadequate social interaction and very intense obsessive behaviors. Kırcaali also said that a significant proportion of children with autism experience significant problems in verbal and non-verbal communication and added that “That is, speech is either absent or unusual; furthermore, eye contact is limited, and when they are called by their names, they do not respond”. Kırcaali stated that these children spend most of their days with obsessed behaviours such as flapping wings or lining up toys and added that there is evidence that autism is a complex condition involving many genes.
Kırcaali further stated that although some psychiatric medications are used to cope with advanced behavioral problems, special education is the most effective treatment currently known for autism and added that “However, there are a wide range of educational methods for children with autism, and there are huge differences between the scientific basis for their effectiveness”. Kırcaali underlined that one of the strongest methods of scientific support is early and intensive behavioral education and said that “This training is carried out for a minimum of 20 hours per week with a one-to-one predominantly special curriculum. A significant number of children who receive early and intensive behavioral education for at least two years are largely relieved of autistic features and can continue their normal education environment”. Describing Behavioural Education Program aimed at Autistic Kids as an intense and early educational program, Kırcaali conveyed detailed information on Behavioural Education Program aimed at Autistic Kids and gave case examples.
Bilmez: Without proper educational arrangements, the lives of individuals with autism are adversely affected
Describing autism as a developmental disability that manifests itself in social interaction, communication and behavior problems, Bilmez said that “Without proper educational arrangements, autism becomes a lifelong disability that affects the lives of individuals themselves and those around them in every way.” Bilmez also pointed out that when the necessary educational measures are taken, many children with autism get away with this problem to a great extent and can continue the rest of their lives by fusing with their normally developing peers and society.
Bilmez said that “Intensive behavioral education is an application supported by scientific research findings on the effects on children with autism” and added that Behavioural Education Program aimed at Autistic Kids is an intense and early educational program. Bilmez emphasized that one of the most important reasons why this program is more effective than other education programs for children with autism is the scope of education and added that “Within the framework of an autism-specific and comprehensive curriculum, a training based on applied behavior analysis and discrete trials is conducted”.
Bilmez further said that “It is very important that prospective special education teacher candidates learn the program which has an autism-specific curriculum such as Behavioural Education Program aimed at Autistic Kids before graduation” and added that this seminar will benefit the special education teachers and the children with autism in the long term.