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Practical Test Result of Visuanlized Exercises of Number Symbol for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Aged 5-6 Years Old in Specialized Settings

Ha Thi Nhu Quynh, Do Thi Thao
American Journal of Educational Research. 2020, 8(10), 787-794. DOI: 10.12691/education-8-10-8
Received September 03, 2020; Revised October 20, 2020; Accepted October 23, 2020

Abstract

The paper indicated the results of using data visualization to form number symbol (NS) for two children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ADS). Based on the strength of visual thinking of children with ASD, we have designed a set of symbol exercises from easy to difficult arrangement for pre-schoolers. In addition, exercises are developed in specific and detailed procedures, combining visual and writing instructions to make children easily manipulate and comprehend. After conducting experiment by 02 children with ASD at 5-6 years old, there has been a remarkable improvement in forming number symbol and the concentration to do these exercises. Case 1: The concentration was reported to increase from 12,5% to 50%; The number symbol formation was reported to increase from 22,75% to 71,87%. Case 2: The Concentration was reported to increase from 0% to 37,5%; Number symbol was reported to increase from 36% to 64%. Thus, the data visualization exercises have showed many positive effects for the process of forming children's number symbol.

1. Introduction

Number symbol are images about quantity of assemblies which previously perceived by people that remained and reproduced in our mind when the assemblies are no longer perceived directly by us, no longer acting on our senses as before 1, 2, 3. In order to form the basic knowledge for children entering elementary class, we need to give them the concept of number symbols, let them get acquainted, recognize numbers from 1 -10, provide concepts about add and substract 4, 5.

Most of children with ASD often have difficulties in counting in order, adding or subtracting numbers, generalizing the quantity, and taking much time in the process of forming number symbol. Therefore, when having a transition to primary school, they are often overwhelmed due to too difficult knowledge for them and they can not keep up with the educational program. In some cases, children with high function ASD have little difficulty in learning math and forming number symbol but still facing many difficulties in communication and social interaction. There were some international typical studies on forming number symbol for children with ASD such as: Janet Preis “The Effect of Picture Communication Symbol on the Verbal Comprehension of Commands by Young Children With Autism” 6; Kathleen A. Quill “Instructional Considerations for Young Children with Autism: The Rationale for Visually Cued Instruction” 7 and “Visually Cued Instruction for Children with Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders” 8; Melissa E. Libertus, Lisa Feiqenson, Justin Halberda “Preschool acuity of the approximate number system correlates with school math ability” 9; Meijke E. Kolkman, Evelyn H. Kroesbergen, Paul P. M. Leseman “Early numerical development and the role of non-symbolic and symbolic skills” 10; Virpi Vellonena, Eija Kärnäa, Marjo Virnesb “Communication of Children with Autism in a Technology-Enhanced Learning Environment” 11; Su, Hui Fang Haung; Lai, Leanne; Rivera, Herminia Janet “Effective mathematics strategies for pre-school children with autism” 12. Studies have proved the importance of the data visualization in the formation of number symbol, on that basis, then designed exercises to develop math skills for children. In Vietnam, Hien Nguyen Thi, Thao Do Thi carried out a research on “Applying TEACCH method to design and use some exercises to help 5-6 year old children with ASD to form number symbol" 13.

This paper provided the practical results of using data visualization to form on two 5-6 year old children with ASD in specialized schools.

2. Content

2.1. Introduction on Visualized Excercises of Number Symbols
2.1.1. Why Should We Use Visualized Exercises of Number Symbols?

Data visualization has an important meaning in the forming number symbol for children with ASD, especially children who are going to enter grade one. Building a set of exercises with independent and practical assessment criteria will help children to grasp information better to flexibly apply and generalize in their life. Therefore, a set of visualized exercises of number symbol has a number of significant goals as follows: (1) Attracting and maintaining the child's attention; (2) Helping children to process information quickly, accurately and effectively; (3) Engaging children into activities actively; (4) Standardizing information, stability and consistency during teaching process 3, 5.


2.1.2. Visualized Exercises of Number Symbol

We designed a set of visualized excercises include eights excercises (1) Sort by general signal; (2) Number recognition; (3) Count and define the quantity; (4) Compare groups of subjects to each others; (5) Separate a group of subjects into two groups; (6) Mix two groups of subjects into one group; (7) Add to create new quantity; (8) Substraction to create new quantity 3, 4, 5. Each of the above practice testsarranged from easy items to difficult items which couldbe easily comprehensive about number symbol by children and they manipulate on A4 paper and a processing board for each attached specific exercise as follows:

Practice test named Sort by general signal included eleven items: (1) Attach the mango to the tree; (2) Put green and red apples in the right basket; (3) Classify vehicle; (4) Match similar pictures; (5) Tick the same images; (6) Odd one picture out; (7) Find picture with the same pattern; (8) Connect pictures with equal size; (9) Order the right picture; (11) Choose the correct answer; (12) Find the missing piece of the picture.

Number recognition practice test included nine items: (1) Number recognition; (2) Match the same number; (3) Choose the correct answer; (4) Matching 4 pieces to complete the number; (5) Counting down; (6) Stacking train carriages; (7) Find the missing number of the down sequence; (8) Match from 1 to 5 to complete the picture; (9) Find the missing number of the inverse sequence.

Count and determine numbers practice test included seven items: (1) Attach a number to the object; (2) Choose the correct answer; (3) Get the required quantity; (4) Choose the number and corresponding quantity; (5) Match the number with the corresponding quantity; (6) Find pictures with number corresponding to the original number; (7) Complete mindmap diagram.

Comparing groups of subjectsto each others included five items: (1) Bigger - Smaller; (2) Taller -Shorter; (3) Longer - Shorter; (4) More - Less; (5) is more than - is less than.

Split a group of subjects into two groups includes six excercises: (1) Split the same numbers; (2) Split the same numbers and stick to the right place; (3) Split the different numbers; (4) Separate different numbers and stick to the right place; (5) Choose the correct answer; (6) Observe pictures and count objects.

Mix two groups of subjects into one group includes four excercises: (1) Add number; (2) add and label number symbol; (3) Choose the correct answer; (4) add groups of objects

Add groups of objects includes six items: (1) Count the same type, stick the number; (2) Count different types, stick the number; (3) Count the number in each group, stick the number; (4) Choose the correct answer; (5) Add to get the required number; (6) Choose total number.

Substract objects includes six items: (1) Cover required number; (2) Cross out objects; (3) Choose the correct one; (4) Choose the correct number; (5) Cross out numbers; (6) Add or remove each row to get the required number (see Table 1, Figure 1, Figure 2, Figure 3, Figure 4, Figure 5, Figure 6, Figure 7 and Figure 8).

2.2. Practical Test Results
2.2.1. Organize the Practical Test

a. Purpose: Conducting practical test for trialusing a set of exercises forming number symbol in order to confirm the feasibility; at the same time evaluate the effectiveness of exercises for children aged 5-6 years old.

b. Content: 2 case studies using a set of exercises, aiming to form number symbol were 2 children with autism spectrum disorders during 6 months.

c. Hypothesis: Building a system of visualized exercises to form number symbol, consistent with the specific characteristics of children with ASD contributes to skill of recognize number symbol easier and more convenient.

d. Subjects: 02 children with mild and moderate ASD 5-6 years old in a specialized settings

e. Steps to conduct: (1) Collect information and develop a plan to form number symbol for children; (2) Select teachers to participate in the test; (3) Carry out the exercises in the built-in system; (4) Evaluate the results. (5) Data processing of trial results.

f. Criteria and rating scale for practical test results

After every 2 months practicing with each excercise, we measured the results based on the established criteria as presented in Table 2.

g. Processing and analyzing the results: The child's performance level is evaluated according to the established criteria of interest level, attention focus and number symbol formation (Table 3).


2.2.2. Results in 2 Children

A. Describe the current function of 02 children with ASD

a. General information about the child: K's family has 4 people. His father is a worker at Sam Sung Company, Bac Ninh province. His mother works as an accountant at Van Tri Golf Stadium. K is the oldest brother in the family who lives with his parents and his 3-year-old brother, who is studying preschool at Time way Tien Duong, Dong Anh, Hanoi. During pregnancy, the mother's health was normal. Before 18 months, the family did not detect any abnormal signs. By 26 months, the child still had no language with limited cognition. Thus, his family brought him to assess at the Pediatrics Hospital and he was dianogsis by the doctors as ASD. Then, he was sent to intervene at the Children's Hospital, and Van Noi kindergarten after that, and joined class at CHIC center in June 2019. K's parents and family concerned him a lot and were ready to be involved into taking care and education for their child under guidance of teachers.

b. Evaluate the recognition level of K's number symbol (Table 4).

c. Attention ability

K had difficulty in concentrating on a particular activity and easily distracted by any triggers such as whistles, voices, etc. Or he didn’t finish his tasks. Sometimes he was not interested in the prompting or support of others to try to perform a task.

a. General information about children: S's parents are working in Japan. S is the second child in his family. He has an older sister, 8 years old, who is in grade 2, and her 4-year-old brother is in preschool. All three S’s siblings are living with their grandparents. During his mother’s pregnancy, she had a fever and had to take medicine and antibiotics for 10 days. At age 2,5, he still did not have verbal language. He likely looked at spinning ceiling fan, and play horizontally arranged toys, and also enjoy spinning toy car wheels. When he was 38 months, seeing that he had many irritable manifestations, throwing toys, his family took him to the Pediatric Hospital for examination and was diagnosed by doctors as having ASD.

b. Number symbol formation level (Table 5)

c. Concentration ability

S. could do some activities that she enjoyed with the teacher's support and prompting. He easily got distracted but more easily returns attention to activities when encouraged or prompted. However, S still had difficulty in performing all requests related to symbol formation, requiring prompting from others to return to focus attention (Table 5).

B. The results after using the trial practical exercises of 2 children with ASD

After the 6-months of practical tests, we reassessed 3 times (every 2 months according to the criteria), the results of forming number symbols of 2 children were quite positive. It presents in Table 6.

a. Case 1: N.V.K

About the formation level of number symbol (Table 6): Almost all exercises related to the formation of the child's number symbol after experimentation by using visualized excercise increased significantly. It was increased from one to two levels in the evaluation criteria, as follows: Part of classified by general signs was reported from 43.6% to 81.8% reached the average level to a good level. Excercise part of number recognition increased from 61.1% to 84.4%, achieving excellent level. The quantitative determination increased from 42.8% to 97.1%, achieving excellent level. Split - add or add - remove objects all reached the weak and poor threshold to the fair and average. This was a great effort on the part of the teachers at school, parents at home as well as the children themselves. Thanks to the coordination of the school and the family's positive, after 6 months of experimentation, has reached the upper level of the fair level, but the content was still less target groups and the comparison of subgroups was average. This showed that in the coming time, its took much efforts to form and develop number symbol. The evidence proved that visualized excercise was very effective in the process of forming number symbols in children.

Regarding the level of attention to complete exercises during trial: Through 3 phases of evaluation and comparison table above (Table 6), we realized clearly the active focus of K’s attention, especially exercises of content classified according to common signs; digit recognition; count determines the quantity. Although with some types of difficult exercises that required a multi-step procedure, K was still easily distracted from her need to remind her to continue doing it. Therefore, in the future, in order for children to continued to focus on absorbing and applying exercises on QS formation, teachers had to observe and pay attention to give appropriate rewards for their children.

b. CASE 2: N.T.S

About the formation level number symbol (Table 7): S showed more stability in both of cognitive and number symbol. There were no exercises after the experiment that the child could not achieve. Accordingly, the content with the most increase in score was number recognition (up from 47.8% to 90%, equivalent to an increase of 42.4%); classified according to general signs (up from 59.1% to 86.4%, equivalent to an increase of 34.5%); comparison of target groups (up 36%); add groups of objects to create new amounts increased by 20%; reducing target groups to create new ones increased by 13.3%; separating a group of subjects into 2 groups increased 11.7%; The number of determinants increased 7.1% and the least increased content that combined the two groups into one group increased by 6.3%. Thus, S from the average threshold of the average level, after 6 months of experimenting, only reached the average threshold of the fair level. Compared to case 1, S has not really formed the number symbol, even though it achieved the set target but at the low threshold. This is explained by the reason that in the experimental process, S had little attention from parents to practice reinforcement for their children at home. So S only performed when participating in activities with teachers at school. Therefore, it needs to continue to teach S and follow the system of exercises to form number symbol.

The level of paying attention to complete exercises during experiments: Through the 3 stages of evaluation and comparison table above (Table 7), we found that S had certain active focus of attention. He could return to his attention when prompted or encouraged. However, there were exercises that S coulddo but he unfinished, or required to change other activities, which was one of the typical problems of Children with disabilities. Therefore, teacher needs to set time for each activity to ỉnform their students.

3. Conclusion

Forming number symbol for children with ASD aged 5-6 years old needs patient and persistence to support for cognitive development. Building a prompted exercises with clear visualization would help children with ASD too vercome their core difficulties. Through the two typical experimental cases above, it is initially possible to confirm that the set of visualized exercises are appropriate and effective. It not only helps children to form number symbols but also enhance their concentration and excitement in doing excercises. The practical test results in this paper once again reaffirm that we are on the right track when proposing measures to form number symbol for children with ASD through visualization. That means “Developing thinking by visual - Action important thinking - image and progress to developing logical thinking, conceptual thinking for children. According to the curriculum framework of the Ministry of Education and Training - as well as the exercises that we built are feasible and it achieved positive results and contributed to improve the level of number symbol formation for children with ASD aged 5-6 years old.

References

[1]  Do Thi Minh Lien (2002, 2006), Method to form primary number symbol for preschoolers, HNUE Publishing House, Hanoi.
In article      
 
[2]  Do Thi Minh Lien (2011), Syllabus: Strategies to do math for early chilhood education, Vietnam Education Publishing House, Hanoi.
In article      
 
[3]  Dinh Thi Nhung (2000), Mathematic and method to form number symbol for kindergarten. Volumm I,II- National University Publishing House, Hanoi.
In article      
 
[4]  Dao Nhu Trang (1997), Children Guildance to begin number symbol in Math, National University Publishing House.
In article      
 
[5]  J.Piaget - translated by Nguyen Xuan Khanh - Hoang Hung (2017), Formation of symbolic in children. Author Publishing.
In article      
 
[6]  Janet Preis (2006), The Effect of Picture Communication Symbols on the Verbal Comprehension of Commands by Young Children With Autism, Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 21(4): 194-208.
In article      View Article
 
[7]  Kathleen Ann Quill (1995), Visually Cued Instruction for Children with Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 10(3): 10-20.
In article      View Article
 
[8]  Kathleen A. Quill (1997), Instructional Considerations for Young Children with Autism: The Rationale for Visually Cued Instruction, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 27: 697-714.
In article      View Article  PubMed
 
[9]  Melissa E. Libertus, Lisa Feiqenson, Justin Halberda (2011), Preschool acuity of the approximate number system correlates with school math ability, Journal of Developmental science, 14(6): 1292-1300.
In article      View Article  PubMed
 
[10]  Meijke E. Kolkman, Evelyn H. Kroesbergen, Paul P. M. Leseman (2013), Early numerical development and the role of non-symbolic and symbolic skills, Journal of Learning and Instruction, 25: 95-103.
In article      View Article
 
[11]  Virpi Vellonena, Eija Kärnäa, Marjo Virnesb. (2012), Communication of Children with Autism in a Technology-Enhanced Learning Environment, Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 69: 1208-1217.
In article      View Article
 
[12]  Su, Hui Fang Haung; Lai, Leanne; Rivera, Herminia Janet (2012), Effective mathematics strategies for pre-school children with autism, Journal of Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom, 17(2):25.
In article      
 
[13]  Do Thi Thao, Nguyen Thi Hien (2019), Applying TEACCH program in developing and using some excercises for children with ASD to form number symbol, HNUE Journal of Science, Volumm 64(9): pg397-408.
In article      
 

Published with license by Science and Education Publishing, Copyright © 2020 Ha Thi Nhu Quynh and Do Thi Thao

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Cite this article:

Normal Style
Ha Thi Nhu Quynh, Do Thi Thao. Practical Test Result of Visuanlized Exercises of Number Symbol for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Aged 5-6 Years Old in Specialized Settings. American Journal of Educational Research. Vol. 8, No. 10, 2020, pp 787-794. http://pubs.sciepub.com/education/8/10/8
MLA Style
Quynh, Ha Thi Nhu, and Do Thi Thao. "Practical Test Result of Visuanlized Exercises of Number Symbol for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Aged 5-6 Years Old in Specialized Settings." American Journal of Educational Research 8.10 (2020): 787-794.
APA Style
Quynh, H. T. N. , & Thao, D. T. (2020). Practical Test Result of Visuanlized Exercises of Number Symbol for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Aged 5-6 Years Old in Specialized Settings. American Journal of Educational Research, 8(10), 787-794.
Chicago Style
Quynh, Ha Thi Nhu, and Do Thi Thao. "Practical Test Result of Visuanlized Exercises of Number Symbol for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder Aged 5-6 Years Old in Specialized Settings." American Journal of Educational Research 8, no. 10 (2020): 787-794.
Share
[1]  Do Thi Minh Lien (2002, 2006), Method to form primary number symbol for preschoolers, HNUE Publishing House, Hanoi.
In article      
 
[2]  Do Thi Minh Lien (2011), Syllabus: Strategies to do math for early chilhood education, Vietnam Education Publishing House, Hanoi.
In article      
 
[3]  Dinh Thi Nhung (2000), Mathematic and method to form number symbol for kindergarten. Volumm I,II- National University Publishing House, Hanoi.
In article      
 
[4]  Dao Nhu Trang (1997), Children Guildance to begin number symbol in Math, National University Publishing House.
In article      
 
[5]  J.Piaget - translated by Nguyen Xuan Khanh - Hoang Hung (2017), Formation of symbolic in children. Author Publishing.
In article      
 
[6]  Janet Preis (2006), The Effect of Picture Communication Symbols on the Verbal Comprehension of Commands by Young Children With Autism, Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 21(4): 194-208.
In article      View Article
 
[7]  Kathleen Ann Quill (1995), Visually Cued Instruction for Children with Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 10(3): 10-20.
In article      View Article
 
[8]  Kathleen A. Quill (1997), Instructional Considerations for Young Children with Autism: The Rationale for Visually Cued Instruction, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 27: 697-714.
In article      View Article  PubMed
 
[9]  Melissa E. Libertus, Lisa Feiqenson, Justin Halberda (2011), Preschool acuity of the approximate number system correlates with school math ability, Journal of Developmental science, 14(6): 1292-1300.
In article      View Article  PubMed
 
[10]  Meijke E. Kolkman, Evelyn H. Kroesbergen, Paul P. M. Leseman (2013), Early numerical development and the role of non-symbolic and symbolic skills, Journal of Learning and Instruction, 25: 95-103.
In article      View Article
 
[11]  Virpi Vellonena, Eija Kärnäa, Marjo Virnesb. (2012), Communication of Children with Autism in a Technology-Enhanced Learning Environment, Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 69: 1208-1217.
In article      View Article
 
[12]  Su, Hui Fang Haung; Lai, Leanne; Rivera, Herminia Janet (2012), Effective mathematics strategies for pre-school children with autism, Journal of Australian Primary Mathematics Classroom, 17(2):25.
In article      
 
[13]  Do Thi Thao, Nguyen Thi Hien (2019), Applying TEACCH program in developing and using some excercises for children with ASD to form number symbol, HNUE Journal of Science, Volumm 64(9): pg397-408.
In article