Several evidence-based practices (EBPs) have been identified as efficacious for the education of students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). However, effectiveness research has rarely been conducted in schools and teachers express skepticism about the clinical utility of EBPs for the classroom. Innovative methods are needed to optimally adapt EBPs for community use. This study utilizes qualitative methods to identify perceived benefits and barriers of classroom implementation of a specific EBP for ASD, Pivotal Response Training (PRT). Teachers' perspectives on the components of PRT, use of PRT as a classroom intervention strategy, and barriers to the use of PRT were identified through guided discussion. Teachers found PRT valuable; however, they also found some components challenging. Specific teacher recommendations for adaptation and resource development are discussed. This process of obtaining qualitative feedback from frontline practitioners provides a generalizable model for researchers to collaborate with teachers to optimally promote EBPs for classroom use.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most common childhood behavioral disorder causing hyperactivity, attention deficit and education decline among students. The teachers may not have enough knowledge about this disorder and are in a real need in this field. Teachers’ education is one of the ways to get knowledge about this disorder. Nowadays, finding a way like a short term nonattendance education method is highly in demand. Therefore, the aim of the study was to compare effectiveness of nonattendance and workshop education of primary school teachers on their knowledge, attitude, and function towards ADHD students.
Sixty seven primary school teachers from the First Districts of Education Department of Isfahan were randomly selected and put into two groups of workshop education (33 participants) and nonattendance education (34 participants). At first, both groups filled demographic date questionnaires and then, were given a pretest. Post tests were given after a two day education in workshop group and after ten days in nonattendance group who had studied the related booklet. Finally, the mean post test scores of knowledge, attitude and knowledge of function were compared between the two groups using ANCOVA analysis.
After intervention, the mean scores of knowledge between the two groups was not significantly different whereas the mean scores of attitude and the mean scores of knowledge of function showed a significant difference between the two groups.
Nonattendance education was as effective as workshop education in promotion of teachers’ knowledge, but workshop education was more effective in attitude change and promotion of teachers’ knowledge of function about dealing with ADHD students.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder; Teacher Education; Primary School Teachers; Knowledge; Attitude; Knowledge of Function
The attitudes toward school pupils with epilepsy are influenced by the degree of school teachers’ knowledge of the disorder. Teachers usually do not receive any formal instructions on epilepsy during their training. This study aims to assess school teachers’ knowledge, attitude and practice when dealing with epilepsy in school children.
Materials and Methods:
This study was part of a series mandated by the Gezira Epilepsy Care Programme (GECP), to obtain baseline data for a community-adapted epilepsy education program. A pretested, semi-structured, 35-items questionnaire was the investigational tool. It was used to evaluate the knowledge of the basic facts about epilepsy among school teachers in this cross-sectional study. The questionnaire allowed teachers to express their opinions by means of free answers. The schools were chosen at random but not in a systematic equiprobability design. Two hundred teachers from public primary (100) and secondary (100) schools in the rural area of south Gezira Locality, Gezira State, Central Sudan, were recruited.
In this study, the majority of respondents had never been informed about epilepsy and therefore gave evasive answers to many questions. Few of the respondents considered epilepsy as contagious. None of participants objected to having epileptic children in their classes. Only 47 teachers (47%) in the primary schools had any knowledge of the initial procedures to help a child in seizure, presenting reasonable answers, compared to 64 (64%) teachers in the secondary schools.
All school teachers should be given some kind of training in health services. The GECP should involve teachers in its current training programs for caregivers and lay association to help epileptic patients.
Attitude; beliefs; epilepsy; knowledge; primary; secondary school; Sudan; teachers
Childhood epilepsy is a chronic neurological disorder associated with profound psychosocial limitations epileptic children's routine. Lack of information and inappropriate beliefs are still the factors that most contribute to the stigma and discrimination. This study aimed at characterizing teacher's beliefs and attitudes at regular and special schools in two cities of southeastern Brazil where students with epilepsy studied. Fifty-six teachers of public regular schools and specialized educational institutions for children with disabilities from two cities of Southeast Brazil who had epileptic children in their classroom completed the Brazilian version of The Epilepsy Beliefs and Attitudes Scale: Adult Version and answered a data sheet about sociodemographic characteristics. The results showed that no significant differences (P ≤ 0.05) have been found between the beliefs and attitudes of teachers in mainstream and special schools but both schoolteachers had more inappropriate beliefs and attitudes than appropriate ones against childhood epilepsy. These findings raise an important issue, providing us with the knowledge that epilepsy is still a condition which is surrounded by wrong beliefs. Also, educational programs could help reduce the gaps in knowledge about how such disease has been perceived worldwide.
BACKGROUND: The acquisition and nurturing of humanistic skills and attitudes constitute an important aim of medical education. In order to assess how conducive the physician-learning environment is to the acquisition of these skills, the authors determined the extent to which clinical teachers are perceived by their trainees as humanistic with patients and students, and they explored whether undergraduate and graduate students share the same perceptions. METHODS: A mail survey was conducted in 1994/95 of all senior clerks and second-year residents at Laval University, University of Montreal and University of Sherbrooke medical schools. Of 774 trainees, 259 senior clerks and 238 second-year residents returned the questionnaire, for an overall response rate of 64%. Students' perceptions of their teachers were measured on a 6-point Likert scale applied to statements about teachers' attitudes toward the patient (5 items) and toward the student (5 items). RESULTS: On average, only 46% of the senior clerks agreed that their teachers displayed the humanistic characteristics of interest. They were especially critical of their teachers' apparent lack of sensitivity, with as many as 3 out of 4 declaring that their teachers seemed to be unconcerned about how patients adapt psychologically to their illnesses (75% of clerks) and that their teachers did not try to understand students' difficulties (78%) or to support students who have difficulties (77%). Compared with the clerks, the second-year residents were significantly less critical, those with negative perceptions varying from 27% to 58%, 40% on average. Except for this difference, their pattern of responses from one item to another was similar. INTERPRETATION: This study suggests the existence of a substantial gap between what medical trainees are expected to learn and what they actually experience over the course of their training. Because such a gap could represent a significant barrier to the acquisition of important skills, more and urgent research is needed to understand better the factors influencing students' perceptions.
Currently, 1 out of 88 children are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and the estimated cost for treatment services is $126 billion annually. Typically, ASD community providers (ASD-CPs) provide services to children with any severity of ASD symptoms using a combination of various treatment paradigms, some with an evidence-base and some without. When evidence-based practices (EBPs) are successfully implemented by ASD-CPs, they can result in positive outcomes. Despite this promise, EBPs are often implemented unsuccessfully and other treatments used by ASD-CPs lack supportive evidence, especially for school-age children with ASD. While it is not well understood why ASD-CPs are not implementing EBPs, organizational and individual characteristics likely play a role. As a response to this need and to improve the lives of children with ASD and their families, this study aims to develop and test the feasibility and acceptability of the Autism Model of Implementation (AMI) to support the implementation of EBPs by ASD-CPs.
An academic-community collaboration developed to partner with ASD-CPs will facilitate the development of the AMI, a process specifically for use by ASD community-based agencies. Using a mixed methods approach, the project will assess agency and individual factors likely to facilitate or hinder implementing EBPs in this context; develop the AMI to address identified barriers and facilitators; and pilot test the AMI to examine its feasibility and acceptability using a specific EBP to treat anxiety disorders in school-age children with ASD.
The AMI will represent a data-informed approach to facilitate implementation of EBPs by ASD-CPs by providing an implementation model specifically developed for this context. This study is designed to address the real-world implications of EBP implementation in ASD community-based agencies. In doing so, the AMI will help to provide children with ASD the best and most effective services in their own community. Moreover, the proposed study will positively impact the field of implementation science by providing an empirically supported and tested model of implementation to facilitate the identification, adoption, and use of EBPs.
Autism spectrum disorder; Evidence-based practice; Implementation; Organization; Community provider; Model development
Sex education is described as education about human sexual anatomy, sexual reproduction, sexual intercourse, reproductive health, emotional relations, reproductive rights and responsibilities, abstinence, contraception, family planning, body image, sexual orientation, sexual pleasure, values, decision making, communication, dating, relationships, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and how to avoid them, and birth control methods. This study was conducted to explore perception of parents about school sex education and assess the attitude of teachers and students towards school sex education.
A cross-sectional quantitative and qualitative study was conducted on randomly selected 386 students, total census of 94 teachers and 10 parents in Merawi Town from March 13–27, 2011. Data were collected using self-administered structured questionnaire and in-depth interview guideline. Multiple linear regression analysis was performed using total score to determine the effect of the independent variables on the outcome variable and thematic analysis was used to analyze the qualitative data.
All study participants have favourable attitude towards the importance of school sex education. They also agreed that the content of school sex education should include abstinence-only and abstinence-plus based on mental maturity of the students. That means at early age (Primary school) the content of school sex education should be abstinence-only and at later age (secondary school) the content of school sex education should be added abstinence-plus. The students and the teachers said that the minimum and maximum introduction time for school sex education is 5 year and 25 year with mean of 10.97(SD±4.3) and 12.36(SD±3.7) respectively. Teacher teaching experiences and field of studies have supportive idea about the starting of school sex education. Watching romantic movies, reading romantic materials and listening romantic radio programs appear to have a contribution on the predictor of students' attitude towards the starting time of school sex education.
All study participants have a need to start sex education at school. All study participants said that at early age (Primary school) the content of school sex education is abstinence-only and at later age (secondary school) is added abstinence-plus. School Sex education should be under considers the need of students, teachers and parents.
Sex education; Attitude; perception
Children with high functioning autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are generally included with typically developing peers at school. They have difficulties interacting with peers on the school play ground. Previous literature suggests that having play dates in the home may be related to better peer acceptance at school.
This study examines the relationship between mother-reported play date frequency and amount of conflict, and peer interaction observed on the school playground for a sample of 27 boys and 4 girls meeting structured interview and observation criteria for ASD. Measures of intellectual functioning, adaptive behavior, and social skills were included in a stepwise regression analysis to account for their impact on relationships between maternal play date reports, general peer acceptance at school (as rated by the child’s teacher) and observations of school playground behavior.
Results revealed that children with autism spectrum disorders who had more play dates in their home tended to spend a greater amount of time engaged in behaviors such as mutual offering of objects, conversing and other turn taking activities with peers on the school playground. They also received more positive responses to their overtures from peers. These relationships remained highly significant even after accounting for other demographic, general social, and cognitive variables.
The present results suggest that play date frequency is strongly related to school playground behavior. Due to the design of this study, future research must assess whether play dates in the home promote better peer relationships on the playground or the reverse. In either case, the assessment of play dates, as well as observation of spontaneous unsupervised social interactions are important outcome measures to consider in social skills interventions for children with high functioning ASD.
Social Skills; Autism; Asperger’s Disorder; Friendship
Two experiments were conducted in a junior-high special-education class of eight pupils in an inner-city school. In the first experiment, the teacher doubled the number of words used by the pupils in answering questions by altering the type of questions asked. In the second experiment, the number of words used by students and the percentage of answers given in complete sentences, increased from less than 5% to approximately 90% when the teacher instructed the pupils to answer in complete sentences and asked another pupil to answer using a sentence if the first one did not do so. In both experiments, a brief return to baseline conditions brought a return to low levels of verbal responding. An analysis of which pupils were called on by the teacher, teacher praise, and in the second experiment the types of questions asked, indicated that these variables were not responsible for the increases in verbal responding.
language; verbal behavior; questions; sentences; instruction; special-education classes; junior high school students
This study examined prevalence and correlates of mental health service use among adolescents with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Data from the National Longitudinal Transition Study-2 (NLTS2) was used to examine mental health service use among youth with an ASD (n=920). Nationally representative estimates generalize to students enrolled in the special education autism category. Regression models examined the association of predisposing, enabling, and need factors with service use overall then with receiving these services at school.
Overall, 46% had used a mental health service in the past year. Of those that received a service, 49% had received it at school. Need variables were the strongest correlates of service use. African American youths, and youths from lower income families were more likely to receive school-based services.
The school plays a key role in providing services, especially for vulnerable populations. Focused attention on these youths is needed to ensure continuity of care as they leave high school.
Schoolteachers are known to be concerned about asthma in their pupils but their opinions about the best method of addressing this concern have not previously been investigated. Eleven headteachers and 76 class teachers from 11 primary schools in the Southampton area--eight from the state sector and three private day schools--completed questionnaires. These inquired about the organization of care for asthmatic pupils, the teachers' knowledge, concerns and training regarding the disease, and their perceptions of the need for and source of further education for teachers about asthma. All 10 National Health Service school health services in the Wessex region and 16 teacher training colleges responded to questions about their provision of such education for teachers. The results demonstrated that asthma care in the 11 schools was generally disorganized, with the responsibility for keeping and administering inhalers falling on the school secretary in seven of the schools. All but two of the 11 headteachers and 89% of the class teachers were concerned about asthma, primarily in managing emergencies. Levels of knowledge were low, particularly regarding exercise, and education about asthma was almost non-existent. The great majority of class teachers (86%) wanted more information about asthma and most (67%) looked to the school health services to provide this. None of the school health services in Wessex and only one teacher training college had any planned education about asthma for teachers. Clearly, schools need to receive more information about asthma, both to enable them to cope more ably with their asthmatic pupils and to allay the anxieties of teachers.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
During the last decade an increasing use of differentiated support measures for pupils with special educational needs, indicative of a discrepancy between educational policies and practices, has been witnessed in Sweden. Another trend has been the increased use of medical diagnoses in school. The aim of this study was to explore the main concern of support given to pupils with special educational needs and how pupils and parents experience and handle this. Interviews were conducted with eight pupils in Grades 7–9—and their parents—at two compulsory schools in a city in northern Sweden. A grounded theory approach was used for analyzing the interview data. A conceptual model was generated illuminating the main concern of special support measures for pupils and parents. The core category of the model, struggling for recognition and inclusion, was related to two categories, which further described how this process was experienced and handled by the participants. These categories were labeled negotiating expertise knowledge within a fragmented support structure and coping with stigma, ambivalence, and special support measures. The developed conceptual model provides a deeper understanding of an ongoing process of struggle for recognition and inclusion in school as described by the pupils and parents.
Grounded theory; pupils with special educational needs; parents; special needs education; medical diagnosis; personal experiences
The need for useful evidence about services is increasing as larger numbers of children identified with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) age toward adulthood. The objective of this review was to characterize the topical and methodological aspects of research on services for supporting success in work, education, and social participation among adults with an ASD and to propose recommendations for moving this area of research forward. We reviewed the literature published in English from 2000 to 2010 and found that the evidence base about services for adults with an ASD is underdeveloped and can be considered a field of inquiry that is relatively unformed. Extant research does not reflect the demographic or impairment heterogeneity of the population, the range of services that adults with autism require to function with purposeful lives in the community, and the need for coordination across service systems and sectors. Future studies must examine issues related to cost and efficiency, given the broader sociopolitical and economic context of service provision. Further, future research needs to consider how demographic and impairment heterogeneity have implications for building an evidence base that will have greater external validity.
autism; adulthood; services; review
Across the country, states are reporting increases in the number of children with autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) served each year in the early intervention system. Research examining factors impacting the successful dissemination and implementation of evidence-based practice (EBPs) into service systems for these children is limited. Preliminary information indicates that adoption of EBPs is variable. Provider attitudes toward the adoption of EBPs may be one factor that limits or facilitates implementation of efficacious treatments and these attitudes vary by organizational context and provider individual differences. The current study examines cross-context differences in provider attitudes toward EBPs by comparing the attitudes of 71 education-based early intervention providers working with children with ASD to the attitudes of 238 mental health providers in the public mental health system. This provides the first examination of ASD early intervention provider attitudes toward EBP. Results indicated that early intervention providers reported significantly more favorable attitudes toward adopting EBPs than did mental health providers. Early intervention providers with extended experience in the field perceived less divergence between their current practice and EBPs. Implications are discussed.
Autism; Early Intervention; Mental Health; Evidence-Based Practice; Attitudes
Teacher self-efficacy refers to the beliefs teachers hold regarding their capability to bring about desired instructional outcomes and may be helpful for understanding and addressing critical issues such as teacher attrition and teacher use of research-supported practices. Educating students with autism likely presents teachers with some of the most significant instructional challenges. The self-efficacy of 35 special education teachers of students with autism between the ages of 3 to 9 years was evaluated. Teachers completed rating scales that represented self-efficacy and aspects of the following 3 of Bandura’s 4 sources of self-efficacy: (1) sense of mastery, (2) social persuasions, and (3) physiological/affective states. Significant associations were observed between physiological/affective states and self-efficacy, but no associations were observed for the other sources.
autism; teachers; self-efficacy; attrition; retention; burnout; stress
This study examined: (a) the prevalence of bullying and victimization among adolescents with ASD, (b) whether they correctly perceived bullying and victimization, and (c) whether Theory of Mind (ToM) and bullying involvement were related to this perception. Data were collected among 230 adolescents with ASD attending special education schools. We found prevalence rates of bullying and victimization between 6 and 46%, with teachers reporting significantly higher rates than peers. Furthermore, adolescents who scored high on teacher- and self-reported victimization were more likely to misinterpret non-bullying situations as bullying. The more often adolescents bullied, according to teachers and peers, and the less developed their ToM, the more they misinterpreted bullying situations as non-bullying. Implications for clinical practice are discussed.
Bullying; Perception; Autism; Adolescents; Prevalence; Theory of Mind
Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) are increasingly included in general education classrooms in an effort to improve their social involvement.
Seventy-nine children with ASD and 79 randomly-selected, gender-matched peers (88.6% male) in 75 early (K-1), middle (2nd–3rd), and late (4th–5th) elementary classrooms across 30 schools completed social network surveys examining each child’s reciprocal friendships, peer rejection, acceptance, and social involvement.
Across grade levels, peers less frequently reciprocated friendships with children with ASD than students in the matched sample. While children with ASD were not more likely to be rejected by peers, they were less accepted and had fewer reciprocal friendships than matched peers at each grade level. Although 48.1% of children with ASD were involved in the social networks of their classrooms, children with ASD were more likely to be isolated or peripheral to social relationships within the classroom across all grade levels, and this difference is even more dramatic in later elementary grades.
In inclusive classrooms, children with ASD are only involved in peers’ social relationships about half of the time, and appear to be even less connected with increasing grade level. Promoting children with ASD’s skills in popular activities to share with peers in early childhood may be a key preventive intervention to protect social relationships in late elementary school grades.
Autism; Social involvement; Inclusive education; Social networks
Little is known about patterns of participation in social activities among adolescents with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The objectives were to report nationally representative (U.S.) estimates of participation in social activities among adolescents with an ASD, to compare these estimates to other groups of adolescents with disabilities, and examine correlates of limited social participation.
Methods and Findings
We analyzed data from wave 1 of the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2, a large cohort study of adolescents enrolled in special education. Three comparison groups included adolescents with learning disabilities, mental retardation, and speech/language impairments. Adolescents with an ASD were significantly more likely never to see friends out of school (43.3%), never to get called by friends (54.4%), and never to be invited to social activities (50.4%) when compared with adolescents from all the other groups. Correlates of limited social participation included low family income and having impairments in conversational ability, social communication, and functional cognitive skills.
Compared with prior research, our study significantly expands inquiry in this area by broadening the range of social participation indicators examined, increasing the external validity of findings, focusing on the under-studied developmental stage of adolescence, and taking an ecological approach that included many potential correlates of social participation. There were notable differences in social participation by income, a dimension of social context seldom examined in research on ASDs.
Despite the high prevalence of seizure, epilepsy and abnormal electroencephalograms in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), there is little information regarding the relative effectiveness of treatments for seizures in the ASD population. In order to determine the effectiveness of traditional and non-traditional treatments for improving seizures and influencing other clinical factor relevant to ASD, we developed a comprehensive on-line seizure survey.
Announcements (by email and websites) by ASD support groups asked parents of children with ASD to complete the on-line surveys. Survey responders choose one of two surveys to complete: a survey about treatments for individuals with ASD and clinical or subclinical seizures or abnormal electroencephalograms, or a control survey for individuals with ASD without clinical or subclinical seizures or abnormal electroencephalograms. Survey responders rated the perceived effect of traditional antiepileptic drug (AED), non-AED seizure treatments and non-traditional ASD treatments on seizures and other clinical factors (sleep, communication, behavior, attention and mood), and listed up to three treatment side effects.
Responses were obtained concerning 733 children with seizures and 290 controls. In general, AEDs were perceived to improve seizures but worsened other clinical factors for children with clinical seizure. Valproic acid, lamotrigine, levetiracetam and ethosuximide were perceived to improve seizures the most and worsen other clinical factors the least out of all AEDs in children with clinical seizures. Traditional non-AED seizure and non-traditional treatments, as a group, were perceived to improve other clinical factors and seizures but the perceived improvement in seizures was significantly less than that reported for AEDs. Certain traditional non-AED treatments, particularly the ketogenic diet, were perceived to improve both seizures and other clinical factors.
For ASD individuals with reported subclinical seizures, other clinical factors were reported to be worsened by AEDs and improved by non-AED traditional seizure and non-traditional treatments.
The rate of side effects was reportedly higher for AEDs compared to traditional non-AED treatments.
Although this survey-based method only provides information regarding parental perceptions of effectiveness, this information may be helpful for selecting seizure treatments in individuals with ASD.
The purpose of this study was to examine the relations of children’s effortful control and quality of relationships with teachers to school attitudes longitudinally in an ethnically diverse and economically disadvantaged sample. Data were collected as part of a larger intervention project during mid-fall, winter, and late spring (ns = 823, 722, and 758, respectively) for 2 cohorts of 3- to 5-year-olds (collected during 2 different school years). Children’s effortful control was assessed in the fall with parents’ and teachers’ reports and 2 behavioral measures. Teacher–child relationship quality was assessed mid-year with teachers’ reports of closeness and conflict. Attitudes toward school were assessed in late spring using teachers’ and students’ reports of school avoidance and liking. Effortful control, in general, was positively correlated with teacher–child closeness and school liking and negatively correlated with conflict and school avoidance. Using structural equation modeling and controlling for sex and ethnicity, we found that effortful control was positively related to teacher–child relationship quality, which in turn was positively related to school attitudes. Furthermore, the relation of effortful control to school attitudes was mediated by teacher–child relationship quality.
Practice or Policy
Results provide evidence for the importance of relational processes that take place within the classroom context and have implications for teachers and clinicians working to increase school success in ethnic minority and low-income children.
The main challenge of higher education institutions throughout the world is to develop professionals capable of understanding and responding to the current social priorities of our countries. Given the utmost importance of addressing the complex needs of an increasingly elderly population in Mexico, the National Autonomous University of Mexico has systematically incorporated modules dealing with primary gerontological health care into several of its undergraduate programs in health sciences. The objective of this study was to analyze teacher's and student's perceptions about the current educational practices on gerontology.
A cross-sectional study was carried out with a sample of 26 teachers and 122 undergraduate students. Subjects were administered interviews and responded survey instrument.
A vast proportion of the teachers (42%) reported students' attitudes towards their academic training as the most important factor affecting learning in the field of gerontology, whereas students reported that the main problems of education in gerontology were theoretical (32%) and methodological (28%). In addition, 41% of students considered education on ageing matters as an essential element for their professional development, as compared to 19% of teachers (p < 0.05).
Our findings suggest that the teachers' perceptions about the low importance of education on ageing matters for the professional practice of health sciences could be a negative factor for gerontology teaching.
Research suggests that children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and their relatives have high rates of depression and anxiety. However, relatively few studies have looked at both factors concurrently. This study examined the potential relationship between maternal mood symptoms and depression and anxiety in their children with ASD. Participants were 31 10- to 17-year-old children with an ASD diagnosis that was supported by gold-standard measures and their biological mothers. Mothers completed the Autism Comorbidity Interview to determine whether the child with ASD met criteria for any depressive or anxiety diagnoses and a questionnaire of their own current mood symptoms. As expected, many children with ASD met criteria for lifetime diagnoses of depressive (32%) and anxiety disorders (39%). Mothers’ report of their own current mood symptoms revealed averages within the normal range, though there was significant variability. Approximately 75% of children with ASD could be correctly classified as having a depressive or anxiety disorder history or not based on maternal symptoms of interpersonal sensitivity, hostility, phobic anxiety, depression, and anxiety. The results provide preliminary evidence that maternal mood symptoms may be related to depression and anxiety in their children with ASD. Although the design did not allow for testing of heritability per se, the familial transmission patterns were generally consistent with research in typical populations. While larger follow-up studies are needed, this research has implications for prevention and intervention efforts.
Autism; Asperger’s disorder; psychiatric comorbidity; anxiety; depression; mood disorders; familial aggregation; maternal symptoms
The role of residents as educators is increasingly recognized, since it impacts residents, interns, medical students and other healthcare professionals. A widespread implementation of resident-as-teacher courses in developed countries' medical schools has occurred, with variable results. There is a dearth of information about this theme in developing countries. The National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) Faculty of Medicine has more than 50% of the residency programs' physician population in Mexico. This report describes a needs assessment survey for a resident as teacher program at our institution.
A cross-sectional descriptive survey was developed based on a review of the available literature and discussion by an expert multidisciplinary committee. The goal was to identify the residents' attitudes, academic needs and preferred educational strategies regarding resident-as-teacher activities throughout the residency. The survey was piloted and modified accordingly. The paper anonymous survey was sent to 7,685 residents, the total population of medical residents in UNAM programs in the country.
There was a 65.7% return rate (5,186 questionnaires), a broad and representative sample of the student population. The residents felt they had knowledge and were competent in medical education, but the majority felt a need to improve their knowledge and skills in this discipline. Most residents (92.5%) felt that their role as educators of medical students, interns and other residents was important/very important. They estimated that 45.5% of their learning came from other residents. Ninety percent stated that it was necessary to be trained in teaching skills. The themes identified to include in the educational intervention were mostly clinically oriented. The educational strategies in order of preference were interactive lectures with a professor, small groups with a moderator, material available in a website for self-learning, printed material for self-study and homework, and small group web-based learning.
There is a large unmet need to implement educational interventions to improve residents' educational skills in postgraduate educational programs in developing countries. Most perceived needs of residents are practical and clinically oriented, and they prefer traditional educational strategies. Resident as teachers educational interventions need to be designed taking into account local needs and resources.
Objective To explore ethnic stereotypes of UK medical students in the context of academic underachievement of medical students from ethnic minorities.
Design Qualitative study using semistructured one to one interviews and focus groups.
Setting A London medical school.
Participants 27 year 3 medical students and 25 clinical teachers, purposively sampled for ethnicity and sex.
Methods Data were analysed using the theory of stereotype threat (a psychological phenomenon thought to negatively affect the performance of people from ethnic minorities in educational contexts) and the constant comparative method.
Results Participants believed the student-teacher relationship was vital for clinical learning. Teachers had strong perceptions about “good” clinical students (interactive, keen, respectful), and some described being aggressive towards students whom they perceived as quiet, unmotivated, and unwilling. Students had equally strong perceptions about “good” clinical teachers (encouraging, interested, interactive, non-aggressive). Students and teachers had concordant and well developed perceptions of the “typical” Asian clinical medical student who was considered over-reliant on books, poor at communicating with patients, too quiet during clinical teaching sessions, and unmotivated owing to being pushed into studying medicine by ambitious parents. Stereotypes of the “typical” white student were less well developed: autonomous, confident, and outgoing team player. Direct discrimination was not reported.
Conclusions Asian clinical medical students may be more likely than white students to be perceived stereotypically and negatively, which may reduce their learning by jeopardising their relationships with teachers. The existence of a negative stereotype about their group also raises the possibility that underperformance of medical students from ethnic minorities may be partly due to stereotype threat. It is recommended that clinical teachers be given opportunities and training to encourage them to get to know their students as individuals and thus foster positive educational relationships with them.
Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) affect approximately 1 in 150 children across the U.S., and are characterized by abnormal social actions, language difficulties, repetitive or restrictive behaviors, and special interests. ASD include autism (autistic disorder), Asperger syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS or atypical autism). High-functioning individuals may communicate with moderate-to-high language skills, although difficulties in social skills may result in communication deficits. Low-functioning individuals may have severe deficiencies in language, resulting in poor communication between the individual and others. Behavioral intervention programs have been developed for ASD, and are frequently adjusted to accommodate specific individual needs. Many of these programs are school-based and aim to support the child in the development of their skills, for use outside the classroom with family and friends. Strides are being made in understanding the factors contributing to the development of ASD, particularly the genetic contributions that may underlie these disorders. Mutant mouse models provide powerful research tools to investigate the genetic factors associated with ASD and its co-morbid disorders. In support, the BTBR T+tf/J mouse strain incorporates ASD-like social and communication deficits and high levels of repetitive behaviors. This commentary briefly reviews the reciprocal relationship between observations made during evidence-based behavioral interventions of high- versus low-functioning children with ASD and the accumulating body of research in autism, including animal studies and basic research models. This reciprocity is one of the hallmarks of the scientific method, such that research may inform behavioral treatments, and observations made during treatment may inform subsequent research.
autism spectrum disorders; social; communication; language; gender differences; behavior modeling; Picture Exchange Communication System; mice; genetics; BTBR; Center for Autism and Related Disabilities; education programs; translational research