The website of the NTF "Flagship Universities of Russia": AltSU psychologists are ready to help children with various forms of developmental disorders

18 January 2020 Department of Information and Media Communications
The website of the National Training Foundation “Flagship Universities of Russia” reported that Yana Smirnova, Associate Professor of the Department of General and Applied Psychology, the Institute of Psychology, Altai State University, is developing a model for the most effective interaction between adults and children with various forms of developmental disorders.

Yana’s project entitled “Eyetracking study of coordinatory disturbance of social attention in preschool age” won the competition for grant support of the President of the Russian Federation for young Russian scientists in 2020–2021.

One of the urgent problems of psychology today is the study of impaired communication, developmental disorders: mental retardation, hearing and visual impairment, and other forms, which the project team will study.

“We deal with children with various forms of developmental disorders (hearing, vision, speech, mental retardation) and with the help of an eyetracking device we look at how we can help such children restore impaired communication of mutual attention with adults” said the AltSU scientist.

This project was the continuation of the long-term work of psychologists at the flagship university in Altai Krai to study coordinatory disturbance of social attention in children of preschool age (from 4 to 7 years old) - during the period of their most active development. AltSU scientists already have certain achievements in this direction. One of these is the development of correctional programs for children with various forms of developmental disorders. These are separate programs for identifying pathologies and correcting them in groups of children with impaired vision, hearing, speech, etc. Despite the fact that the study is rather fundamental in nature, AltSU scientists are already trying to put their developments into practice.

“We have been dealing with this topic for five years, and for about three years in a row we have received grant support from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research and the second time - a grant from the President of the Russian Federation. Last year, with these funds, we were able to purchase eyetracking equipment, which allowed us to reach a new level of research. This is a device for tracking eye movements, made in the form of glasses, which the child wears, and then the computer monitors the moments of focused vision, which the child is more interested in. After that, we determine how to correct his or her attention and improve communication between the child and adults” explained Yana Smirnova.

The short-term plans of AltSU scientists is to determine the mechanism for building the mutual attention of children with various forms of developmental disorders and adults, and then establish the most effective way to implement it.

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