March 27th, 2020
Although many real-time activities for the World Autism Awareness Week (March 28 to April 5) are now cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak, online activities and news continue. Besides awareness, the Autism Awareness Week also aims at increasing understanding and acceptance. Autism is often associated with ‘socially inappropriate’ behaviors and less motivation for prosocial actions. But is that picture correct? Now all schools are closed. Yet, when schools reopen, what about equal opportunity for autistic children in mainstream education? In this news item, Carolien talks about prosocial behaviors and the need for social contacts in autistic children. And in this blog article, Carolien, Dr. Sarah Giest, and Legal Advisor Pim Deul reflect on school inclusion and the 2014 Dutch Appropriate Education Act for autistic pupils.
March 5th, 2020
On March 3rd, Adva, Anne, Laura, Maud and Liam launched a special project to increase playfulness of children at school playgrounds. With the instruction of our project advisor Martin van Rooijen (University of Humanistic Studies, Utrecht), this project is based on loose-parts play, which aims to provide children with increased opportunities for creative play and positive social interactions. Children showed spontaneous enthusiasm for the loose parts, such as wheels, baskets and wooden boards, as soon as encountering them at the playground.
March 3rd, 2020
On March 4th, we host a symposium on the psychosocial development of children with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD). The program features international experts on the topic. In the afternoon, Neeltje defends her PhD thesis on the emotions and psychosocial development in children with DLD.
On average, two children in each class have difficulties with their first language, due to DLD. These children cannot fully follow conversations around them, increasing their risk for psychosocial problems. Yet, the severity of their language problems does not tell the whole story. "What counts is what children with DLD miss out on in their daily social lives, because of these language problems," Neeltje states.
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February 5th, 2020
On the 31st of January, Brenda attended the Peer Relations Onderzoekers (PRO) meeting in Tilburg University. She presented preliminary results concerning the concordance of peers, teachers, and parents as informants about children's social competence, and the contribution that observation and sensor data might have to improve our views on children's behaviour at the playground.