Atypical Patterns of Rhythmical Mother-Child Interaction as an Early Sign of Autism Spectrum Disorder (Published)
Face-to-face interactions are organized in a clear rhythmic structure. This study examined how the rhythmic patterns of behaviors during mother-child interactions differentiate children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) from Typically Developing (TD) children. Ten children with ASD and ten TD children, matched for mental age, were videotaped in naturalistic play sessions with their mothers. The microanalytic approach applied, focused on a qualitative axis (type of behavior), and a quantitative axis (duration of behaviors). Results demonstrated that children with ASD rarely initiate an episode of interaction with their mother, prefer solitary play and use less communicative behaviors. Overall, they exhibit an atypical rhythmic patter of interaction, which is interpreted by their deficient motive for intersubjective communication.
The study investigated the handling of the supra-segmental features among Erei speakers of English. A survey questionnaire was administered to 150 respondents in selected secondary schools under study. The subjects were grouped by age into three: 10-12 years, 13-15 years and 16 years and above. Two research questions were formulated to direct the course of the study. Data were analysed in five sections through the application of four gradable items: SA – strongly agree, A – agreed, D – disagreed and SD – strongly disagreed. Findings showed that the prosodic features such as stress, rhythm and intonation are the basis for intelligibility than the individual segments, but the teaching of the features received less attention in the class as well as the teachers in the study did not have a good command of the prosodic features in their spoken English. The provision of well-designed curriculum and syllabus, oral textbooks with targeted supra-segmental features, well-equipped libraries and language laboratories, the introduction of radio and television language programmes and on-the-job training and retraining of teachers in spoken English were suggested to help solve the problem of intelligibility among the Erei people as L2 users of English in Nigeria.