Within the framework of the 4th Career Week organised by Eastern Mediterranean University, Biruni University Mentally Handicapped Teaching Department academic staff member Assist. Prof. Dr. Ayşe Tuba Ceyhun Duman delivered a presentation entitled “Understanding the World of Individuals with Autistm Spectrum Disorder” as the guest speaker of EMU Faculty of Education.
Highlighting the increasing rate of autism worldwide, Duman stated that between 2003 and 2013, 90,000 children were diagnosed with autism in Turkey. Assist. Prof. Dr. Ayşe Ceyhun Duman, also added that autism which is diagnosed within the first 36 months following birth is more common in males than females. Duman added that research suggests no specific cause leading to autism but chemical, genetic or biological causes may act as some of the reasons.
Duman went on to state that individuals with autism spectrum disorder have difficulty in social involvement as well as communication with others, demonstrate repetitive behavior and have limited areas of interest. Duman also added that individuals with autism disorder avoid eye contact.
Duman put forth that while some autistic individuals have high IQ levels, others may have low levels of intelligence. Autistic individuals also have high levels of focusing, which may prevent them from being aware of things happening around them.
According to Duman, autism spectrum disorder is not a disease so it does not have a medical treatment. Assist. Prof. Dr. Ayşe Ceyhun Duman added that in their educational programs, they include techniques on imitation, language and communication skills as well as play and social interaction. Duman also added that families of individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder should also be trained.
At the end of the event, Education Faculty Dean Prof. Dr. Ülker Vancı Osam presented a plaque of appreciation to Duman.