Numarul 2 / Anul 2018

  Complete Edition


  History of autism. The beginnings. Collusions or serendipity
Loredana AL GHAZI

The article presents the first years of the autismand the way it was viewed since the autistic features were first observed until 75 years ago whenLeo Kanner coined the term “autism.”It took 36 years to Kanner’s “infantile autism” to be formally recognized by the American Psychiatric Association in the third edition ofthe DiagnosticStatistical Manual (APA, 1980). Fifty years after Hans Asperger publishedhis four cases of “autistic psychopaths,” whose traits were described as early as 1938 in his postdoctoral thesis, APA introduced the “Asperger syndrome” in the fourth edition of DSM(1994). However, two decades before Kanner and Asperger,a Russian psychiatrist, Grunia Sukhareva reported six cases of “schizoid psychopathy” in children and used the term autistic to describe their “tendency towards solitude and avoidance of other people” (Wolff, 1996, p. 129). We bring together three recent extensive accounts on autism history and try to establish who was the first to observe, describe, and label the autistic traits as a separate clinical picture from childhood schizophrenia.

Key words: infantile autism, Asperger syndrome, schizoid psychopathy

  Quality of life for children with autism. Legislation and public policies
Atalia ONIŢIU, Sergiu-Lucian RAIU

The present contribution discusses the legislation referring to persons diagnosed with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD). From international documents (The Charter for Persons with Autism, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities), to national legislation (The Law on Autism, The Methodological Norms for Applying the Law on Autism), we show these are still perfectible. We underline although there is a Romanian legislation for people with ASD, this is insufficiently known by parents of children with ASD, thus affecting the chances of children’s evolution. Some legislation articles are partially or incomplete respected in our country, and the equality of chances for autistic adult is missing, with no access to specialized services or labor market. Romanian legislation insufficiently regulates and does not establish any clear procedure to ensure access to specialized recovery services (medical, social, educational) for persons with ASD, the screening for early detection of ASD symptoms and periodical evaluations for children are not performed, and more, legislation infringes the right to education and work for people with ASD.

Key words: autism, legislation, rights, education, discrimination

  An ecological approach of Autism Spectrum Disorders
Mihai PREDESCU, Loredana AL GHAZI, Ioana DâRJAN

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is one of the most researched topics in the last decades. The research led to a better understanding of the field and raised the number of children properly diagnosed. But also, the ASD became a social topic because it affects both families and society as a whole. In this paper, we propose an innovative ecological approach of ASD, based on a holistic approach of it. We recognize the fact that sectorial approaches, such as intervention in school, or family therapy are not sufficient to overcome the ASD. Instead, we propose an ecological model, in which the assessment and interventions are made at individual, family, school and societal level in order to structure a support network for the child and family.

Key words: ASD; ecological approach

  ASD in school: from theory and research to educational practice
Claudia – Vasilica BORCA

As a result of increase of the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) prevalence, teachers are experiencing real difficulties such as, the curriculum, social, emotional, and behavioural development of these students. The main purpose of this paper is to analyse how the effectiveness and quality of educational and therapeutic practice in ASD are influenced by research in the field, by identifying those interventions and effective, scientifically validated treatments for students with ASD. Initially, we will present the current conceptualization of ASD, the review of scientific literature, analysis of research studies, identification and analysis of practices. We want to find out what is the link between educational practices and studies that provide empirical support for those practices. A range of effective scientifically validated interventions and treatments for children with ASD, evidence-based practices (EBPs), school-based instructional interventions research, research-based principles and practices are presented.

Key words: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), educational practices, research, evidence

  Aggressive Coping Strategy in Situations of Social Conflict. An Attempt to Determine Personality Predictors

The purpose of the study was to find personality predictors of aggressive coping strategies in adolescents in situations of social conflict. The empirical studies have been conducted in junior high schools on a sample of 893 adolescents (468 girls and 425 boys) aged 13-15. The study employed the following instruments: the Stress Assessment Questionnaire (Kwestionariusz Oceny Stresu, KOS) designed by D. Włodarczyk and K. Wrześniewski, The Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (SES), the Spielberger Three-Factor Inventory of Personality States and Traits (TISCO), as well as the Questionnaire for Analysis of Coping Strategies in Adolescents in Situations of Social Conflict (KSMK) designed by D. Borecka-Biernat. The results of the studies indicate that the assessment of a situation of conflict as a threat increases the implementation of the aggressive coping strategy in young people in situations of social conflict. Participation of adolescents in a situation in which the realization of their goals is under threat increases negative emotions. Aggression is a form of coping with anger experienced in a situation of social conflict.

Key words: youth, personality, aggression, conflict

  Bullying in schools: An interdisciplinary approach from the legal and psycho-pedagogical perspective

The purpose of this study is to analyze bullying behaviors from an interdisciplinary perspective: legal, psychological and pedagogical. From a legal point of view, the Romanian legislative framework on respect for children`s rights has undergone a number of changes in recent years with the accession of Romania to the European Union in 2007. International legislation on respect for children`s rights requirescountries that have ratified these provisions to ensure that they are respected and to take measures to ensure that they are not prejudiced. Aggressiveness in students is a predictor of antisocial behaviors in adolescence and adulthood.
The psychological perspective of bullying refers to the consequences of this type of behavior.Students involved in aggression are at increased risk of developing a range of psychosomatic symptoms, involvement in delinquency, alcohol and drug abuse, absenteeism.The consequences of these behaviors on the victims are associated with anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation.
Through the pedagogical approach to bullying, we focus on the role of teachers in addressing the issue of aggressive behavior in students. The perceived gravity and teacher`s response to bullies and victims of bullying are important indicators to be taken into account in making a successful intervention.

Key words: bullying, bully, victim, child rights, teacher response

  The influence of emotional regulation strategies in the relationship between test anxiety and performance in the educational competitions context of adolescents with high intellectual abilities
Roxana I. HOLIC, Carmen CREŢU

Competitions are one of the most important and attractive activities for students in Romanian schools because they give them the opportunity to deepen the study of a certain discipline and to achieve performance in the favorite field.What is somewhat neglected in literature about educational contests is precisely the presence and influence of emotions experienced by students in the context of competitions that may have a positive or negative impact on the performance achieved. Test anxiety is the most frequently studied phenomenon and mentioned as a problem in the educational psychology, but there are no studies (at least identified by us) that have approached this topic with direct reference to the context of educational competitions (except for sports studies that frequently addresses the issue of competitive anxiety). Another aspect that is rather little studied in research concerned with academic emotions is the influence of emotional regulation on academic performance. Very few studies address the role that emotional regulation strategies have in the relationship between test anxiety and performance.Given the lack of studies on the impact of test anxiety and emotional regulation strategies on performance in educational competitions of adolescents with high intellectual abilities, we have investigated this issue in this study. The selected group of subjects consisted of 541 teenagers who participated in various national Olympiads (2017). The results show that cognitive test anxiety has a positive influence on the performance achieved in educational competitions. Even though emotional regulation strategies do not moderate the relationship between test anxiety and performance, they still have some relationship with both. Thus, test anxiety has positive relationships with all emotional regulation strategies, less with cognitive reappraisal. Performance has only positive relationships with two of the emotional regulation strategies (task-focused strategies and emotion-focused strategies) and negative relationships with other two of them (cognitive-appraising strategies and suppression). These links identified between the variables analyzed can be a contribution to the educational practice, both for students participating in various educational competitions as well as in the case of day-to-day school performance.

Key words: test anxiety, performance, emotional regulation strategies, educational competitions, high intellectual abilities

  The infantilization of intellectual disability and political inclusion: a pedagogical approach

The present paper looks at the way in which political and scientific frameworks, as well as everyday life dynamics work to exclude people living with intellectual disability (ID) in Romania from political life and how these dynamics could be overcome through crafting communicative-dialogic pedagogical interventions geared at political inclusion. I argue that the political exclusion of people with ID is built into the formal political order, as well as doubled by a twofold infantilizing dynamic. On the one hand, the scientific and academic psycho-pedagogical discourse still operates with classifications that inscribe people with ID with chronological “normal” ages inferior to their biological age. Their subject position is thus “fixed” at an age below the voting limited. This move is seconded by the way in which (formerly) institutionalized people with ID are referred to as “children” (despite their fully adult ages) in a small (post)institutional town, as well as in other care settings that I have explored ethnographically. Finally, the paper explores the stepping stones of alternative interventions, built on a communicative-dialogic methodology for politically including people with ID that could work to overcome the infantilizing dynamics.

Key words: intellectual disability, CRPD, depoliticization, inclusion, infantilization

  Attitudes and behaviors towards mental illness of pre-service teachers in educational sciences

The personal system of beliefs and attitudes influence emotional and behavioral reactions. In educational field, teachers’ systems of beliefs, their set minds are of extreme importance, as they will direct and impact on their classroom practices, relational and instructional approaches. The pre-service teachers in Educational Sciences will become qualified professionals in educational field, in all its forms: mainstream, special, and integrated education. The future teachers face an extremely fluid educational environment, in terms of students’ characteristics, educational objectives, both academic and social, instructional and formative needs. With an increasing rate of school inclusion of students with Special Educational Needs (SEN) (Horga, 2016), the future specialists should be prepared, in terms of competences, to promote and sustain inclusion, to act against discrimination and exclusion, to advocate for the rights of all their students. Aiming to prepare highly qualified education specialists, it is important to assess their attitudes and positions towards students with diverse special needs, from diverse special contexts. As future specialists in education, our pre-service teachers will work directly with students with special needs and their families and will represent important agents in changing mentalities and generating adequate attitudinal and behavioral changes. In this study, we investigate our pre-service teachers’ the knowledge, attitudes and behaviors towards mental illness. A survey questionnaire covering topics as knowledge, attitudes and behavior towards people with mental illness was administrated to 82 of our pre-service teachers. The study presents the findings and the conclusions of the survey.

Key words: mental illness; pre-service teachers; attitudes

  Book Review - Ioana Dârjan’s School-level approaches for students in risk (2018, Timisoara: West University Publishing)