Brock prof among the first in new autism journal

A Brock University education assistant professor is among the first researchers to publish papers in an inaugural online journal covering developmental disabilities.Research by Kimberly Maich and Carmen Hall from Fanshawe College in London, Ont. appeared in the DAAD Online Journal (the Journal of the Division on Autism and Developmental Disabilities) whose Volume 1, Number 1 was issued in December 2014.“I’m very excited about it,” says Maich of the new journal and her paper, titled “Using a Photographic Electronic Activity Schedule to Decrease Latency in Transition Time for a Nine-Year-Old Girl with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.”As part of a pilot project with the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board, Maich and her team examined how a nine-year-old girl living with autism used an iPad to help her keep a schedule of learning activities at school.She explains that children living with autism find it difficult switching from one activity to another and end up using valuable teaching time getting from place to place physically and mentally.“We’re trying to decrease her ‘latency’ or her time not doing purposeful activity before she transitions into another activity,” says Maich.Typically, such children use a laminated-type paper schedule. An iPad enables children to see vivid images of what they are supposed to do next. Maich says people with autism tend to respond well to visual images.“Sticking to a schedule is a life skill,” explains Maich. “We’re always thinking about developing future independence: the idea of being able to get to work on time, to get to the bus on time, do your housework in a timely manner, all of those things.”Maich’s research is one of more than a dozen studies in the inaugural DAAD Online Journal, published by the Council for Exceptional Children, a U.S.-based advocacy and research group billed as “the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving the educational success of individuals with disabilities and/or gifts and talents.”According to its webpage (http://daddcec.org/Portals/0/CEC/Autism_Disabilities/Research/Publications/DADD%20Online%20Journal%20V1%202014.pdf), the DAAD Online Journal “integrates research and practice, reflecting the need for evidence-based and practice informed strategies and interventions within this diverse field.”Topics include: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), assistive and adaptive technologies, intellectual disability, and mental health.

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