Volume 14 No 1 (2022): International Journal of Early Childhood Special Education
Parental Participation in Supporting the Development of Communication Skills in Autistic Children
Magdalene Kevisha Naidoo and Sumeshni Govender
Keywords: Parental Participation, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Education, Development of Communication Skills, Special Needs Awareness.
Parental participation, when conducted appropriately, can support the development of communication skills in autistic children within various learning environments. Paquette and Ryan (2001) state that the microsystem of a child can play a major role in impacting the development of the child as family, community and school structures directly expose the child to learning situations. The aim of this research is to understand the nature, extent and impact of the parents’ demographics on parental participation in supporting the development of communication skills in autistic children. Three special-needs schools within the King Cetshwayo District, KwaZulu-Natal, participated in this research. This research used a mix of qualitive and quantitative approaches and a phenomenological design when dealing with the social, emotional and educational implications of autistic children for the role and level of participation parents have in their children’s development of communication skills at school and home. It was noted that educators favoured sensory-enhancing activities, sign language (which is taught to all learners), and picture-exchange methods to develop communication skills in learners. These techniques require practice and consistent use in different contexts. Parents experienced difficulties scheduling sufficient time due to work situations. Bissoli (2014) found that children’s communication skills are influenced by the people around them. The need for more parental engagement in Autism Spectrum Disorder education and training will aid in enhancing the development of skills in children.
IssueVolume 14 No 1 (2022): International Journal of Early Childhood Special Education
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