Social inclusion aimed at educating children with autism

The Goal about the Social Integration of local Autistic People

Radio Rebelde

PhD in Pedagogical Sciences, Yaima Demósthene Sterling, is the assistant director of the Dora Alonso special school from the Cuban capital city where local autistic children, aged between two and seven years of age, are being educated.

“Since eight years old, the aforementioned children attend to other recently opened educational center: the Cheché Alfonso special school in the local Plaza de la Revolución municipality.” She pointed out.

The autism is regarded as a general disorder of the human development which has an unknown origin that is characterized by the isolation, cognitive, communicative, and social behavior disorders, along with a limited number of activities and interests which are repetitive and stereotyped ones.

Yaima Demósthene Sterling also explained to the local Radio Rebelde Station that there are some of the children who after having graduated there, then they begin their gradual incorporation into other more complex educational levels.

“It is expensive their education and those educational centers have the necessary qualified human staff and the material resources such as the visual keys which are used for their anticipation and orientation in the space, the languages of signs, the tactile screens on the computers and the muscular stimulation.” She said.

Yaima Demósthene Sterling explains that there are up to 399 children suffering from that disability who are being treated from an educational point of view through the different modalities of the national educational system like the Educa tu Hijo Program, during their early ages of the preschool education, while there are others who attend to the local Secondary and High school centers and there is even a female young student suffering from autism who is registered in the psycho-pedagogical faculty at the Enrique José Varona Pedagogical Sciences University in Havana city.

With 16 years of working experience, Yaima Demósthene Sterling points out that their education is aimed at achieving their social incorporation; therefore, the special school works about the fact of stimulating of all their areas of development so that they could learn all their educational-level content, according to their age.

“The abovementioned disability is treated individually at the five special schools which treats that disability nationwide. Moreover, there is an assistant teacher in the classrooms with up to five children; besides, there are other specialists such as the speech therapists, teachers of musical education, teachers of the physical education and computing subjects, along with physical therapists who treat their body movements´ coordination and the stimulation of their muscular strength, including the presence of a psychotherapist.” Yaima Demósthene Sterling pointed out.

Yaima Demósthene Sterling revealed that this time, which has been dedicated by her to those people suffering from the autism disability, has taught her to see her life optimistically by thinking that it is possible to make achievements while understanding and accepting people no matter the way they behave by even telling to them what one wants them to do and not what it is not desired to be done by them.

Yaima Demósthene Sterling also made reference to the implementation of the environmental structure where it is anticipated and informed what it is going to happen through visual keys such as photos and drawings which give them the necessary knowledge about what it is happening in the world.

In addition, Yaima Demósthene Sterling also commented that each single place at their school and home is designed for a specific activity and the child knows about it after walking towards those places, therefore, this is what will be done with each of them; besides, it is taken an educational advantage from their common routines and potentialities.

“According to the abovementioned expert, there is another method implemented which is the global reading one with an inverted methodology in comparison with the phonic, analytical and synthetic method, which means that it begins with the association of the images to the words and its syllables which lead them later to a phoneme and this is the way the child associates the representation of a word.

Moreover, each single word learned by a child has a meaning which is equally linked with their preferences and interests; therefore, it is achieved great results.” By Teresa Valenzuela


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