Clinical Psychology 8 (2015), 1, 19-32

Original scientific paper

Developmental Assessment and Support for Children with Autism Spectrum Disoders

Klara Popčević - Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Zagreb, Zagreb
Jasmina Ivšac Pavliša - Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Zagreb, Zagreb
Sanja Šimleša - Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Zagreb, Zagreb

Fulltext (croatian, pages 19-32).pdf

Every child with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is unique in their language and socio-cognitive abilities, severity of disorder and the support they receive. Consequently, every child goes through different therapy paths, preschool integration and achieves diverse progress. In Croatia, there are no systematic data for this population in the period after the assessment process or insight into the factors associated with their involvement in the preschool system. The objective of this paper is to provide an insight into the functionality of diagnostic, therapeutic and educational systems and the status of children with ASD within it. To obtain these data, a questionnaire was administered to the parents of 40 children with atypical communicative development. Based on the qualitative and statistical analysis of the parents’ responses, the following parameters were tested: the correlation between the time parents recognize the difficulties and their seeking professional support, the correlation between diagnosis of a child and a particular form of involvement and the correlation of parents’ satisfaction with the type of involvement. The correlation of parents recognizing the difficulties with seeking professional support shows the importance of early recognition. There is no correlation between the diagnosis of the child and parental satisfaction with a particular form of involvement. Parental responses suggest that one of the most important factors of successful preschool involvement is education and the positive attitude of educators, rather than the degree of difficulty and form of inclusion. Parents have reported several problems which indicate that the preschool setting is not prepared to educate children with ASD.

Autism Spectrum Disorders, diagnostic procedures, professional support, preschool integration

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