Volume 18, Issue 1 (Spring 2016)                   Advances in Cognitive Sciences 2016, 18(1): 47-57 | Back to browse issues page

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1- faculty of foreign languages, Islamic Azad University, Science and Research Branch, Tehran, Iran.
2- , Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences, Iran University of Medical Sciences,Tehran, Iran.
3- Faculty of Humanities, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.
Abstract:   (2383 Views)
Objective: Recent advances in neuroscience have resulted to the discovery of new neurons called mirror neurons. The current study aims to investigate the association between mirror neuron stimulation through purposeful movement imitation and verbal imitation with language development in autistic children.
Method: The current research used an experimental, applied and available sampling design. Accordingly, first, the researchers designed an applied and easy model for autistic children rehabilitation based on mirror neurons stimulation using purposeful movement imitation and verbal imitation. Then, based on the TPR technique, an 8-year-old autistic girl underwent an pilot study for 12 sessions lasting 4 weeks in Iran University of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences, whereby positive and effective results were observed; then, other samples, i.e. five monolingual, Farsi-speaking autistic girls aged 5-8 years were selected by available sampling and underwent 42 sessions during a 14-week course (three 20/30-minute session in each week), then the development of their receptive-expressive language skills as well as their speech was evaluated using  Newsha Developmental Scale. Each sample, as a control sample, was evaluated before and after speech therapy courses based on mirror neurons stimulation. In addition, after a two-month suspension of the 14-week course, all samples were again evaluated with scoring table; finally, the results’ stability was evaluated. SPSS (version 16) was used for statistical analyses.
Resuts: The obtained results suggested a significant difference between pre-test and post-test scores of receptive language (p<0.006), expressive language (p<0.023) and speech (p<0.049) skills of the samples (p<0.05).
Conclusion: Mirror neuron stimulation through purposeful movement imitation and verbal imitation in autistic children seems to positively affects the development of receptive language, expressive language and speech skills. Therefore, this method can be used as a complementary technique in speech therapy among autistic children. 
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Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special
Received: 2015/06/23 | Accepted: 2015/12/1 | Published: 2016/05/21

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