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Use of hearing aid (FM) equipment for individual and group work with children from the autist spectrum - PS Bratya Miladinovi, Burgas, Bulgaria

The FM systems, while originally developed as a communication means for children with impaired hearing, have proven effective for many other conditions – learning difficulties, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, developmental dysphasia and autism. The use of FM systems in group and individual work contributes for the development of speech and language skills /one of the essential deficits among children from the autism spectrum/, as well as for concentration of attention and improved engagement with the study process. The FM systems enhance therapist’s/tutor’s voice as opposed to general background noise level and deliver the desired information to the child in it’s original state, unaffected by surrounding distractions. With the system’s help, children visibly pay more attention, stay calmer and learn more.

For some children from the autism spectrum, processing of information, mainly visual and auditory, is inhibited. Full integration of visually and aurally percepted stimuli and extraction of the essence is not performed adequately /or is deferred/ and as a result understanding of delivered information is impaired. Also, among autist children is often observed sensory integration dysfunction, which additionally hampers the abilities for understanding and work in the typical noisy classroom.

Additional Info

Goal:
Included in school/society, Pupil well-being, Cognitive accessibility, Academic skills
Students age range:
6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15
Curriculum area:
Maths
Year period:
All year long
Step by step description, including actions to be developed for preparation and implementation:
Application of FM technologies in the educational process and corrective-compensatory work finds it's expression in: • improving child-therapist connection, leading to higher effectiveness of the therapy conducted; • improving speech skills – phonation, articulation, intonation, prosody; • developing auditory attention and phonemic awareness, phonological memory and semantic memory; • improving child’s language skills, increasing self-regulation and enhancing social skills, reducing the episodes of Increased motor activity and improving behaviour self-control; • achieving proper balance between excitatory and inhibitory processes, which in turn leads to better adaptation in the therapeutic process, improved focus and better academic performance; • use of the FM system during therapy raises personal motivation and achieve active involvement in the process ; • improved perception leads to higher self-esteem and enthusiastic participation; • increasing the independence level reduces barriers to integration and access to education in general; • the practice has also proven effective in work with children suffering developmental dysphasia, dyslexia and hyperactivity; • FM-based communication systems can be applied successfully by parents of autistic children in domestic environment too;
Resources to be used, including human resources, materials and spaces:
Equipment used for individual work is FM system Roger Inspirio. A key feature of every Roger system is the wireless microphone for the tutor. The student receives their processed voice through headphones. For group work the room has to be equipped with FM system Dynamic SoundField, which represents a sound tube fixed at 110 cm height frontally against the students. No other appliances are needed for group work and the teacher again has a transmitter and a microphone. It is very useful for inclusive education, when there are autistic children in a regular class.
Difficulties found while implementing it:
Not all autist children accept wearing headphones during individual work. Here can be helpful parents and gradual habituation.
The official webpage for the good practice:
Please enter the URL for the good practice at your school or any other internet place. If you don’t have a specific URL for your practice, then enter the URL of your school.
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