ASSESSMENT OF STRATEGIES TEACHERS USE TO ENHANCE SOCIAL INTERACTION SKILLS OF AUTISTIC PUPILS IN SPECIAL SCHOOLS FOR THE INTELLECTUALLY DISABLED

Martin Kanjatanga, Douglas Fofie, Maxwell Kontor Owusu, Richard Marfo, William De-Heer

Abstract


The study assessed strategies teachers used to enhance social interaction skills of autistic pupils in some selected special schools for the intellectually disabled in the Northern part of Ghana. Descriptive research design was adopted and a total sample of 50 respondents were involved. Purposive sampling technique was used to select the schools and the respondents for the study. Questionnaire was the main instrument used for data collection. Data was analysed using tables, frequencies and percentages. The findings showed that the teachers used modeling, physical prompts, visual cues, reinforcement, social stories, direct instruction skills and social skills training in groups and peer support as strategies to enhance social interaction skills of autistic pupils in the school. The strategies used by the teachers were also proven to be effective in enhancing social interaction skills of autistic pupils in the school. It was established that even though some support services were available to help enhance the social interaction skills of the autistic pupils, professionals like occupational therapists, physical therapists and the multi-disciplinary team were absent in the three special schools selected for the study. It was recommended that the requisite support services should be provided in the selected special schools which have autistic pupils in order to help enhance the social interaction skills. In addition, periodic workshops, symposia as well as refresher courses should be organized for special teachers and their aides to update their knowledge and skills in the strategies used to enhance social interaction skills of these pupils with autism.

 

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Keywords


social interaction skills, autism, intellectually disabled, special schools

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejse.v6i2.3272

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