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Developing a group of non-arbitrary tasks for teaching interpersonal and spatial relations for limited-verbal individuals

Grant number: 17/08837-8
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): August 01, 2017
Effective date (End): February 15, 2018
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology - Experimental Psychology
Principal Investigator:Camila Domeniconi
Grantee:Carolina Coury Silveira de Almeida
Supervisor: Patrick Michael Dermot Barnes-Holmes
Host Institution: Centro de Educação e Ciências Humanas (CECH). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Research place: Ghent University (UGent), Belgium  
Associated to the scholarship:16/07852-0 - Teaching and assessment of gaze following for children with autism: analyzing the eye movement patterns via eyetracking, BP.DR


Perspective taking has been defined as the ability to infer thoughts and feelings from ourselves and from other people. A program to evaluate these behaviors has been developed, which are mainly studied by the proposal of Theory of Mind (ToM). Recently the Relational Frame Theory (RFT) has been dedicated to a behavioral interpretation that focuses on the possibilities of evaluation and also on the intervention for individuals that present deficits in these behaviors employing the Barnes-Holmes protocol. In this perspective, learning deictic relational frames are essential for verbal and social development, these frames are divided in three types: interpersonal (I-you), spatial (here-there) and temporal frames (now-then). Even with the success of this protocol in several applications, it consists of a predominantly verbal instrument that eventually restricts the application to individuals with limited verbal repertoire. The aim of this project will be to address this topic. Phase 1 aims to review the literature oriented to teaching and evaluating deictic repertoire with autistic individuals and other developmental disabilities, to identify potential prerequisites for perspective taking, based on the theoretical framework of RFT. Considering results collected from the initial phase, Phase 2 aims to develop a set of non-arbitrary relational deictic frames tasks for teaching spatial and interpersonal frames, and gaze following with three-dimensional objects. The purpose of this group of tasks is to investigate the necessary prerequisites and organize a procedure that could make possible to assess and intervene with autistic individuals and others that present a limited or rigid verbal repertoire.

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