Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Language support in schools vital for children with autism

Teachers and parents must be vigilant in observing difficulties with language comprehension, reading and spelling in children and young people with autism, Asperger's syndrome and ADHD.
"It is important that pupils are offered the support to which they are entitled", says Jakob Åsberg in a new thesis at the University of Gothenburg.

"Pupils with these neuropsychiatric disorders are often reported as having problems with spoken and written activities.

However, relatively little research has been carried out within the field. Considering how important such skills are for coping independently in school and in working life and society in general, it is of great importance that we become better informed about these issues", considers Jakob Åsberg, who is publicly defending his thesis in psychology.

Among other things, the findings in the five studies that comprise the thesis demonstrate that pupils with autism or Asperger's syndrome often have problems with comprehension, in particular with continuous texts such as stories. However, it was common that these children and young people were able to read individual words correctly and with a satisfactory flow, even though there was significant variation within the group in this respect.

The pupils' test results improved
"In one study we worked in conjunction with school staff and tested whether it was possible for a group of pupils with autism or Asperger's syndrome to improve in understanding the content of stories through structured and concentrated teaching. We based it on the idea that teaching such as this should make it clear to the pupils what reading and listening with understanding actually involves. It was encouraging that the pupils' test results improved after four weeks teaching. There does therefore appear to be potential for positive change, even though the results in this sub-study should still be regarded as provisional", says Jakob Åsberg.

Another study focused specifically on girls with autism or ADHD. It emerged in this study that girls with ADHD frequently have more general problems when it comes to dexterity in writing.

"Both reading and spelling words and reading comprehension seem to be difficult for a lot of children with ADHD. It is important that teachers, parents and other professionals are vigilant regarding the occurrence of such difficulties and that the pupils are offered the support to which they are entitled", says Jakob Åsberg.

Title of the thesis: Literacy and comprehension in school-aged children: Studies on autism and other developmental disabilities
Author of the thesis: Jakob Åsberg, tel: +46 (0)31-7861856(work) e-mail:
Faculty opponent's name: Professor Elena Grigorenko, Child Study Center, Yale University, New Haven, USA and Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia.
The thesis was successfully defended on Friday 2 November 2009 at 10.00, room F1, Department of Psychology

Haraldsgatan 1, Gothenburg

BY: Lena Olson
+46 31-786 4841

Helena Aaberg | idw
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>