Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Development of the Parent Form of the Preschool Children's Communication Skills Scale and Comparison of the Communication Skills of Children with Normal Development and with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

Development of the Parent Form of the Preschool Children's Communication Skills Scale and Comparison of the Communication Skills of Children with Normal Development and with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Article excerpt

Communication is a process that starts from infancy, when babies communicate with their mothers or the babysitters to meet their needs. During the developmental process, babies begin to acquire basic communication skills by having mutual interactions with people around them. For instance, babies signal to their mother their distress or needs by crying, and mothers satisfy their needs by feeding them or changing their diapers. At the same time, mothers communicate with their babies by smiling at and speaking to them. Over time, babies also start to respond to the people around them. This mutual process during which babies engage in communication with other people not only helps them become aware of different types of responses but also enhances their communication skills. Therefore, from the time babies are born, they express their needs/wants and get to know and understand the world they live in by communicating with the people around them.

Before babies make their first utterances, they try to communicate with the people in their environment by using their voices, gestures and looks to meet their needs (Topbaç & Maviç, 2005). During the cooing period (6 weeks-3 months), they cry, depending on their needs, and chirp when they are happy. Following the babbling period in which babies consciously repeat the sounds they hear (3-6 months), the echolalic babbling period begins (6-9 months), during which the relationship between voice production and hearing becomes important. In other words, babies imitate the sounds they hear and repeat them. Repeating syllables, such as ba-ba, ma-ma, is a distinctive feature of this period (Alisinanoglu, 2003). Babies' initial attempts at uttering sounds are kinetic, follow a certain order and depend on the baby's maturity. Babies first repeat sound units and then finally utter their first syllables (Alpöge, 1991). The development of the concept of object continuity leads to progress in their perceptions. By combining the cognitive designs they perceive, babies develop new designs and perceive the world by keeping these designs in their conscious mind (Poole, Miller, & Church, 2005). This perception process can be actualized through the baby's interest in and interaction with his/her immediate surroundings. In this process, as babies look in the direction from which they hear a sound, they also learn to distinguish their own names, pay attention to the people saying their names and take part in mutual games. In brief, they begin to be aware of the environment they live in and acquire communication skills. Another vital communication skill observed in this period is the acquisition of the joint attention skill.

The joint attention skill, which enables babies to look at the objects pointed to or looked at by an adult, and then to look at the adult again, is one of the most fundamental communication skills. This skill, which is acquired between 9 and 18 months, is an indication that babies are interested in their environment, share joint attention and have the willingness to continue communicating. According to several studies, there is a relationship between the development of joint attention and language development (Markus, Mundy, Morles, Delgado, & Yale, 2000; Mundy & Crowson, 1997). Before children use language for communication purposes, they engage in mutual interaction with their parents (Seitz & Marcus, 1976). During this process, smiling and recognizing language features and different facial expressions play an important role (Pascalis, Loevenbruck, Quinn, Kandel, Tanaka, & Lee, 2014). As children's curiosity increases when they interact with their immediate surroundings, they become more interested in their environment. They start to point to objects with their index finger when they want to communicate or reach objects. When attracting adults' attention with their index finger, children actually invite them to communicate as a means of expressing their needs. …

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