One of the prominent characteristics of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a delay in the development of socialization and communication. Although the relationships between children with autism spectrum disorder and their siblings with typical development may be different from those among siblings all of whom have typical development, only a few studies have investigated features of the relationships between children with autism spectrum disorder and their siblings. In the present study, the Japanese version of the Furman and Buhrmester (1984) Sibling Relationship Questionnaire (SRQ) was factor analyzed. Then, using that questionnaire, influences on sibling relationships of behavioral problems associated with autism spectrum disorder and of intellectual disabilities that children with autism spectrum disorder have, were examined. The results showed that the ratings of relationships between the children with autism spectrum disorder and their siblings had lower scores on “warmth/closeness” and “power relationships” when the children with autism spectrum disorder also had intellectual disabilities, compared to when the children with autism spectrum disorder had high functioning intelligence and also compared to the relationships among siblings all of whom had typical development. Moreover, in general, “lethargy/withdrawal” was significantly negatively correlated with “warmth/closeness” (r=0.53).
The abilities to read characters and to repeat non-words have been reported to be related. Therefore, children with poor early reading skills could be expected to have difficulty with non-word repetition. The purposes of the present study were to investigate (a) whether young Japanese children with poor reading skills would have more difficulty with the repetition of non-words than would children with proficient reading skills, and (b) whether differences between the non-fluent and fluent reading groups could be identified in the characteristics of their errors. The non-fluent reading group was comprised of children who read words mora by mora; the fluent reading group was comprised of children who could read words fluently. The participants were 34 pre-school children from 5 to 6 years old. A reading task and a non-word repetition task were used. The results were as follows: The scores of the children in the non-fluent group on the non-word repetition task were significantly lower than the scores of the children in the fluent group. In addition, in the non-fluent group, the number of errors made on consonants was significantly greater than the number of errors made on vowels and others. In contrast, no such difference was observed in the fluent group. These results suggest that young children whose early reading is non-fluent may have more phonological difficulties than those whose reading is already fluent.
The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) establishes a standard language and framework for describing health and health-related states, including the interaction of body function and structure, activity and participation, and environmental factors (World Health Organization, 2001). However, in practice, it is difficult to use the ICF because it has many items, and the evaluation is complex. In the present study, ICF core sets were developed for people with severe intellectual disabilities, and the usefulness of these sets was examined by a model case evaluation. The ICF core sets consisted of body function (45 items), body structure (15 items), activity and participation (43 items), and environmental factors (11 items). A model case evaluation supported the usefulness of these core sets, particularly in terms of understanding the entire picture of the individual being rated and sharing information with other staff.
The purpose of the present review was to clarify trends in research on the education of children with health impairments in regular classes, focusing on the time after the expansion of special needs education. More than 80% of children with chronic diseases attend regular classes. Expanding special needs education improved the education received by these children, who continued to attend regular classes. Recently, the duration of hospitalization has decreased rapidly due to the promotion of home medical care. Concomitantly, the understanding and support for children with health impairments in regular classes must be immediately improved. However, even in the context of special needs education, a significant lack of understanding of these children's situation affects their school lives. While they are attending regular classes, a variety of learning and health problems have emerged. The present paper analyzes recent changes in research on education for students with health impairments in regular classes in relation to the following topics: (a) education provided during hospitalization, and special care and support in regular classes, (b) support in special needs schools (schools for children with health impairments) for students with psychosomatic and other behavioral difficulties that have lead to their non-attendance, (c) the current state of understanding of long-term absences due to illness and measures addressing that problem, and (d) collaboration with school health programs, which play an important role in supporting children with health impairments who are attending regular classes.
In Japan, home- or hospital-bound education is provided to students unable to attend school because of their profound disabilities and/or disease. Teachers from special schools regularly visit the students at home or in the institution or hospital where they are living. The present article reviews the literature on home- and hospital-bound education that was published between 2000 and 2012, and identifies research challenges. The review covers the following topics: (a) implementation status of home- and hospital-bound education, (b) methods for teaching students with profound and multiple disabilities, (c) family support, (d) overseas systems for home- and hospital-bound education, and (e) possible further dissemination of home- and hospital-bound education. The following research challenges were identified: (a) the progress of direct intercommunication between students with profound and multiple disabilities and other students with or without disabilities who are able to attend school, and their collaborative learning based on remote education, (b) development of methods for teaching and evaluating students with profound brain dysfunction who are in the most restrictive educational environment, and (c) collaboration between teachers of students with profound disabilities and university researchers.