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Research Questions How much do ECE’s already know about ASD and early signs of ASD in young children ? - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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www.uwindsor.ca/autism. [email protected] Early Childhood Educators’ knowledge and attitudes toward early identification of Autism Marcia N. Gragg 1 , Tammy Whitlock 1 , Lynnette Ridley 2 & Beth Johnson 3

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[email protected]

Early Childhood Educators’ knowledge and attitudes toward early identification of Autism

Marcia N. Gragg1, Tammy Whitlock1, Lynnette Ridley2 & Beth Johnson3

1Department of Psychology, University of Windsor, Windsor, ON, Canada N9B 3P4, 2Windsor Regional Hospital Department of Pharmacy, 3City of Windsor Ontario Early Years Centres

  • Introduction

  • Early Childhood Educators (ECE's) in child care centres are in a unique position to help identify children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) – as they see many very young children with their peers for extended periods.

  • Information on screening for autism, public awareness activities, and preservice training for ECE's has been recommended to help increase early identification of children with autism (Filipek, 1999).

  • Little is known about the knowledge, experiences and attitudes of ECE's with regards to young children with ASD in child care centres (McConkey & Bhlirgri, 2003; Stahmer, Collings & Palinkas, 2005; Wall, 2004).

  • Results

  • no significant differences in autism knowledge for participants completing measures BEFORE & AFTER presentation, except those AFTER presentation scored significantly higher on identifying very early signs of autism in young children

  • Number of Times Worked with a Child with ASD

  • no significant differences in autism knowledge OR comfort in identifying a child as autistic

  • Research Questions

  • How much do ECE’s already know about ASD and early signs of ASD in young children?

  • What experiences have ECE’s already had working with young children with ASD (both diagnosed and undiagnosed) and their parents in local child care centres?

  • What are ECE’s attitudes towards receiving training in screening children for ASD, talking to parents about suspected ASD, and participating in screening programs for ASD?

  • Method

  • Participants

  • 91 participants (90 female, 1 male) who worked in child care centres

    • Profession 64.4% ECE, 34.4% other

  • Education 63.3% ECE diploma

    • 38.9% University education

    • 25.6% some college/other college diploma

    • 15.6% high school only

    • 8.9% other

    • Experience in Child Care

      • 14.6% had 0 – 1 year

      • 37.1% had 2 – 5 years

      • 15.7% had 6 – 10 years

      • 32.6% had > 10 years

    • Conclusions

    • brief training can increase ECE’s knowledge of early signs of ASD

    • ECE’s and others working in child care centres had similar levels of ASD knowledge

    • ECE’s knew a great deal about ASD already

    • ECE’s main misconceptions were about cognitive abilities of children with ASD and emotional factors in the cause of ASD; training should focus on these areas

    • 88% of ECE’s had experience working with children diagnosed with ASD

    • over 80% of ECE’s had worked with a child suspected with ASD; although almost half had never discussed concerns about ASD with the children’s parents

    • ECE’s are eager for more training on ASD screening and talking to parents about ASD; and were positive about participating in screening programs for ASD

    • Data Collection

    • recruited at a workshop, Autism in the Early Years, Oct. 2004

    • 52% to 61% return rate

    • 53 participants completed the measures BEFORE and 38 participants AFTER a presentation, Autism in the Early Years: Early Identification

    • Measures

    • Autism Survey (Stone, 1987; Stone & Rosenbaum, 1988); to measure autism knowledge

    • Early Childhood Educators and Children with Autism; designed for current study; to measure experiences & attitudes toward working with children with ASD and their parents in child care centres, attitudes toward screening for ASD, and demographic information

    • Acknowledgements

    • Participants who shared their experiences with us

    • The Association of Early Childhood Educators, Windsor/Essex Branch

    • The City of Windsor, Children's Services

    • St. Clair College, School of Community Studies

    • Knowledge Translation

    • Presented study results & information on ASD to staff and ECE students at website and;

    • Ontario Early Years Satellite Centres

    • City of Windsor Children’s Services

    • St. Clair College, & other community events

    AC = Autistic Children