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Brief Report: Preliminary Proposal of a Conceptual Model of a Digital Environment for Developing Mathematical Reasoning in Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Abstract

There is clear evidence that in typically developing children reasoning and sense-making are essential in all mathematical learning and understanding processes. In children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), however, these become much more significant, considering their importance to successful independent living. This paper presents a preliminary proposal of a digital environment, specifically targeted to promote the development of mathematical reasoning in students with ASD. Given the diversity of ASD, the prototyping of this environment requires the study of dynamic adaptation processes and the development of activities adjusted to each user’s profile. We present the results obtained during the first phase of this ongoing research, describing a conceptual model of the proposed digital environment. Guidelines for future research are also discussed.

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Notes

  1.  Basic education is compulsory and free and lasts for 9 years, covering children and young people between six and 15 years of age. It comprises three consecutive cycles: the 1st cycle (4 years) provides a general education, with a single teacher (sometimes supported in specialized areas); the 2nd cycle (2 years) and the 3rd cycle (3 years) are taught by a single teacher per subject or multidisciplinary educational field. The Portuguese Educational System is organized in different levels of education, training and learning: pre-school education, basic education, secondary education, post-secondary education not higher, education and training of young people and adults, and higher education.

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Acknowledgments

This work was supported by Portuguese funds through the CIDMA–Center for Research and Development in Mathematics and Applications, and the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (“FCT–Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia”), within project PEst-OE/MAT/UI4106/2014.

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Correspondence to Maria Isabel Santos.

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Santos, M.I., Breda, A. & Almeida, A.M. Brief Report: Preliminary Proposal of a Conceptual Model of a Digital Environment for Developing Mathematical Reasoning in Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. J Autism Dev Disord 45, 2633–2640 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-015-2414-9

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-015-2414-9

Keywords

  • Autism spectrum disorders
  • Information and communication technology
  • Mathematical reasoning
  • Inclusion
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