Early correctional and pedagogical assistance to children with autism as a means of improving their quality of life

Elena Timofeeva (Russia), Ksenia Timofeeva (Russia), Vladimir Shinkarenko (Russia)

The present article deals with the organization and implementation of correctional care for younger children with autism spectrum disorders. The authors reveal key aspects of the problems underlying the speech and nonspeech difficulties of this category of children, as well as consider the topic of the only generally accepted method (applied behavior analysis) that is widely used when working with these children, and prove the expediency of a different approach to the complex correction of speech problems in children with communication disorders. The approach is based on the identified peculiarities of the speech and nonspeech problems of children with autism. The authors justify the choice of contemporary foreign methods (Tomatis, Floortime, and Sensory Integration) in the correction of speech and behavior of children with communication disorders based on the results of the conducted ascertaining experiment. Based on a comparative analysis of the results of ascertaining and forming experiments in the control and experimental groups, it has been proved experimentally that establishing an emotional and communicative component of the mental development of the child, as well as improving the processing of auditory, tactile, vestibular, and proprioceptive sensation speed up the corrective process that plays a crucial role in speech development and the development of nonlanguage functions. The significance of this study concerns the evidence-based use of a comprehensive approach to the correction of children with autism in the sensitive period of their development (from two to four years). Early comprehensive care provides a chance to achieve success in the social and speech development of these children by the beginning of school education (from seven to eight years), which will significantly improve the quality of their lives and contribute to the best integration into society.