Aikaterini Tavoulari

Doctoral Researcher

Aikaterini TavoulariResearch Topic

Caregivers’ and professionals’ perceptions of stereotyped behaviour in young children on the autistic spectrum and with visual impairment; a comparative study

Research Summary 

The body language which is observed among typical developing individuals, those on the autism spectrum or those with visual impairment sometimes differs and at other times does not. For instance, eye poking and rocking can be observed in children with visual impairment when they are stressed. The same behaviour can be observed in children on the autism spectrum, who are idle; but in a typical developing child who has anxiety, can be observed flipping objects. These can be characterized as inappropriate behaviours that many specialists try to discourage (Gena, 2002; Mason & McCall, 1997; Pérez-Pereira & Conti-Ramsden, 2005). Positive reinforcement of positive behaviours or a functional modification of stereotyped behaviour can be regarded as the best response, rather than the use of negative comments.

Thus, it is important to “understand the child’s needs and intervene in an appropriate way at the right time” (Tröester, Bambring & Beelman: 1991a, 1991b). Furthermore, as Moss & Blaha (1993) note, these behaviours are a kind of indication of how an individual receives information from the world; his/ her preferred sensory channel and as a consequence how can develop more “mainstream” behaviours.

The behaviours referred to above can be characterized as unacceptable and inappropriate due to social reasons, even if for someone they are a way of relaxing and energizing or relieving tension. In other words, these behaviours are considered self-stimulation and for that reason may often become self-harm (Dale, 2005; Gena, 2002; Moss & Blaha, 1993).

Changing our perceptions regarding the stereotyped behaviour of an individual may help us to interpret that kind of behaviour and communicate with that person in a more effective way. For this reason, this research will proceed in identifying perceptions of the stereotyped behaviour of others’ or themselves. Thus, it might be easier to identify the best method of intervention.

Research Interests 

  • Visual Impairments
  • Autism Spectrum
  • Multiple Disabilities
  • Stereotypies
  • Early Intervention
  • Inclusive Education
  • Special Education

Research supervisors

Dr Liz Hodges and Dr Kerstin Wittemeyer

Membership of Research and Professional Organisations

  • International Council for Education and Re/habilitation of People with Visual Impairment (ICEVI-Europe)
  • European Educational Research Association (EERA)
  • Panhellenic Scientific Association of Special Education (P.S.A.S.E.) 
  • The European Association on Early Childhood Intervention (Eurlyaid)

Publications

Book Chapter

Tavoulari, A., Papoudi, D. (2012). The imitation ability of a child with autism: How is he responding? Which way? What kind of intervention? [in Greek], In The research in special education, in inclusive education and in disability, Scientific Volume A΄. Athens: Pedio Publications, pp. 193 – 210. 

Proceedings

E. Deropoulou-Derou, M. Gelastopoulou, V. Kalogridi, A. Tavoulari. (2015). Views and experiences of general and special preschool teachers, regarding the educational policy and the implementation of inclusive collaborative practices. European Educational Research Association (EERA) (ISBN: 978-963-12-3169-4). Budapest: 7 – 11/ 9/ 2015.

E. Deropoulou-Derou, M. Gelastopoulou, V. Kalogridi, A. Tavoulari. (2015). Collaborative practices in inclusion classes. The role of general and special preschool education teachers. New Educator (ISBN: 978-960-99435-7-4). Athens: 23 – 24/ 5/ 2015.

A., Tavoulari Katsoulis P., Argyropoulos V. (2014). Early intervention in Greece: Present situation and proposal for the future. The 8th International Scientific Conference, Belgrade: 7 – 9.

Tavoulari A., Zeza M., Katsoulis P., Zafeira D., Skaltsouni A. (2013). (in press). The use of smell and taste as an alternative perspective for teaching the blind and deaf blind students. 8th ICEVI European Conference on Education and Re/ habiliation of people with visual impairment, Istanbul: June 30 – July 5/ 2013.

Tavoulari A., Zeza M., Katsoulis P., Zafeira D., Skaltsouni A. (2013). The sense of olfaction and taste as a base of an educational project for blind and deaf blind students, 2nd Pan-Hellenic Congress of Special Education: Dilemmas and Perspectives in Special Education, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens/ Faculty of Philosophy Pedagogy and Psychology/ Psychology Domain/ Society of Greece Special Education, Athens, 11 – 14/ 4/ 2013.

Tavoulari, A. (2012). Making use of recess time in Special School. Proceedings of the 8th Pan-Hellenic Congress of the Hellenic Educational Society: Greek Pedagogy and Educational Research, Ioannina, 2 – 4/ 11/ 2012.

Varakliotou, O., Μontzoli, V., Tavoulari, A. (2011). From “dis-order” to the “order”: The program of Peaceful Playgrounds in the Greek school. [in Greek]. Proceedings of Colloquium Academic Speech and Educational Practice, 9th Area of Special Education of Piraeus: 9/ 6/ 2011, p. 16. 

Tavoulari, A., Papoudi, D. (2010). From the autistic child to the autistic adolescent: The contribution of the pediatric [in Greek]. 3rd State of The Art Adolescent Medicine Course, European Board of the International Association for Adolescent Health, European Pediatric Association, Greek Education Society for Prevention and Health Education, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Greek Pediatric Society, Greek Company of Adolescent Medicine, p. 176.

Tavoulari, A., Papoudi, D. (2009). The imitative response of a child with autism during structured activities of a researcher (case study) [in Greek]. Proceedings of the 2nd Pan-Hellenic Congress of Special Education: Special Education as a starting-point of progress in Science and In Practice, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens/ Faculty of Philosophy Pedagogy and Psychology/ Pedagogy Domain and Society of Greece Special Education, Grigoris, pp. 503 – 522. 

Presentations

Views and experiences of general and special preschool teachers, regarding the educational policy and the implementation of inclusive collaborative practices. European Educational Research Association (EERA) Main Conference on Education and Transition – Contributions from Educational Research, Corvinus University of Budapest, Budapest: 7 – 11/ 9/ 2015.

Collaborative practices in inclusion classes. The role of general and special preschool education teachers, New Educator, Athens: 23 – 24/ 5/ 2015.

Early intervention in Greece: Present situation and proposal for the future. The 8th International Scientific Conference, Belgrade: 7 – 9 November 2014.

Collaborative practices of general and special preschool education teachers in general inclusive preschool education in Greece. European Educational Research Association Main Conference on The past, present and future of educational research in Europe, University of Porto, Porto: 1 – 5 September 2014.

The use of smell and taste as an alternative perspective for teaching the blind and deaf blind students. 8th ICEVI European Conference on Education and Re/ habiliation of people with visual impairment, Istanbul: June 30 – July 5/ 2013.

The sense of olfaction and taste as a base of an educational project for blind and deaf blind students, 2nd Pan-Hellenic Congress of Special Education: “Dilemmas and Perspectives in Special Education”, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens/ Faculty of Philosophy Pedagogy and Psychology/ Psychology Domain/ Society of Greece Special Education, Athens, 11 – 14/ 4/ 2013.

The adaptation of The Curriculum for Kindergarten, to students with visual impairments. Special Education Workshop: Vision and educational intervention issues in the typical school, 4th Area of Special Education, Athens, 21/ 3/ 2013.

Making use of recess time in Special School. 8th Pan-Hellenic Congress of the Hellenic Educational Society: Greek Pedagogy and Educational Research, Ioannina, 2 – 4/ 11/ 2012.

From “dis-order” to the “order”: The program of Peaceful Playgrounds in the Greek school. Colloquium Academic Speech and Educational Practice, 9th Area of Special Education of Piraeus: 9/ 6/ 2011. 

From the autistic child to the autistic adolescent: The contribution of the pediatric, 3rd State of The Art Adolescent Medicine Course, Association for Adolescent Health, 2nd Pediatric Department, University of Athens, 7 – 9/ 5/ 2010.

The imitative response of a child with autism during structured activities of a researcher (case study), 2nd Pan-Hellenic Congress of Special Education: “Special Education as a starting-point of progress in Science and In Practice”, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens/ Faculty of Philosophy Pedagogy and Psychology/ Pedagogy Domain and Society of Greece Special Education, Athens: 15 – 18/ 4/ 2010. 

Posters

Stylidi, M., Tavoulari, A., Zeza, M., Katsoulis, P., Pasparaki, V. (2015). A school evacuation plan after earthquake for blind, MDVI and deaf-blind students - Universal design of way finding and cognitive maps using multi-sensory signs. International Conference on Enabling Access for Persons with Visual Impairment, International Council for Education and Rehabilitation of People with Visual Impairment Europe Union (ICEVI EUROPE), National and Kapodistrian University of Athens/ Department of Informatics and Telecommunications/ Speech and Accessibility Laboratory.

Varakliotou O., Μontzoli V., Tavoulari A. (2011). Shaping of the schoolyard [in Greek]. Program of Environmental: “Events for the Environment”, Primary Education Division of Piraeus – Municipality of Keratsini, Park Selepitsari – Municipality of Keratsini, 29/ 5 – 5/ 6 2011.

Tavoulari, A., Papoudi, D. (2010). From the autistic child to the autistic adolescent: The contribution of the pediatric [in Greek]. 3rd State of The Art Adolescent Medicine Course, European Board of the International Association for Adolescent Health, European Pediatric Association, Greek Education Society for Prevention and Health Education, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Greek Pediatric Society, Greek Company of Adolescent Medicine.

Contact details

EmailAXT488@Bham.ac.uk

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