The study held by Bateman and Wilson is a study of the influence of an instrument created to facilitate communication on children with particular diseases. These diseases are connected with Autism and are called Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The study was based on a necessity to stimulate communication in any form between children at school, including classmates, to follow the inclusivity standards. An effective inclusive policy must include such measures as the one described in the study to ensure children’s comfort and efficiently help them feel better in a group of people.
The research is based on an overview of literature related to the ASD topic. For instance, the importance of social communication skills for “accessing desired outcomes” is explained using the opinion of Bauminger et al. (Bateman & Wilson, 2020). What is more, the effect that lack of communication has on the students with ASD is discussed via the words of Locke et al. (Bateman & Wilson, 2020). Generally, the article’s prelusive theoretical part concerns the importance of detailed attention to the social development of children with ASD. Bateman and Wilson’s study is devoted to the impact of a snack talk practice on developing communicational skills of children with ASD and the feeling of membership among classmates.
The study was successful because it revealed the results the authors expected. The implementation of snack talk consisted of five stages, including introducing cards, modeling their usage, using “least-to-most prompting,” shaping topics for conversations, and reinforcing students (Bateman & Wilson, 2020, p. 305). Following this procedure, the researchers managed to gradually make children with ASD familiar with the snack talks practice, not increasing the stress level. Reinforcement ensures the maintenance of the practice in children’s everyday life.
The main aim of the research was to increase the level of involvement of children who have Autism in the activities in which the class participates. The appearance of such a purpose can be explained by the fact that the diversity of children within classes is expanding because children with Autism Spectrum Disorder study in inclusive classes (Bateman & Wilson, 2020). Therefore, the study aimed to make studying more comfortable and practical for children with and without ASD.
The targeted group of the study consisted of children with diagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder. The research aimed at showing that there are solutions for the daily problems of these children related to communication difficulties, and these solutions can be simple. However, the study did not include only the children with ASD because, this way, it would not have been effective. It also involved children without such diagnoses, providing the researchers with an opportunity to trace the behavioral patterns of both groups and reveal the communicative difficulties and the causes of their appearance.
Considering the reviewed research held by Bateman and Wilson, the intervention took place in the form of introducing a practice of social communication support. This support was introduced in the form of visual support that stimulates communication when children are having their meals (Bateman & Wilson, 2020). The procedure included implementing the usage of snack talk cards which were created based on the interests and most frequently discussed topics of the children, to the targeted group of children. The process included five steps, from introducing the cards to the children to positively reinforcing those who use them regularly and properly.
Although the benefit of this procedure seems to be inevitable, it still has limitations due to the various level of communicational skills. Thus, a different approach should be chosen for some smaller groups of people, and it is not enough to distinguish groups based on the presence or absence of the disease (Bateman & Wilson, 2020). According to these complexities, the reason for the use of snack cards may vary drastically. For instance, snack cards can be used for “nonverbal or minimally verbal children” to facilitate their communication with peers via the “AAC systems, eye gaze, and gestural prompting to ask and answer questions” (Bateman & Wilson, 2020, p. 304). The most beneficial thing about these cards is that they provide an opportunity for children who do not have ASD to initiate conversations with their ASD peers (Bateman & Wilson, 2020). Thus, implementing this instrument in schools would mot certainly be effective due to its multidimensional effect.
Considering the ways of applying the results of this research to real life, it would be relatively easy and relevant in many cases. Social justice in general and particularly in education is one of the most crucial issues that involves children with different levels of health, diseases, and potential and affects their future. Following the modern tendencies to include children with special needs in social processes requires providing them with a safe space to feel comfortable. In the program focused on the same issues in education, I would mention these cards as a primary instrument of stimulating communication for children with ASD. Moreover, these cards would have become obligatory in every school and class where children with ASD study because they have proven their effectiveness. Thus, the research by Bateman and Wilson would be a model for creating a comfortable space for children with special needs and particular diseases.
Bateman, K. J. & Wilson, S. E. (2020). Supporting diverse learners with Autism through a culturally responsive visual communication intervention, Intervention in School and Clinic, 56(5), 301-307. Web.