The article studies the motivational sphere of 4-6 year old preschool children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The study involved 20 children (15 boys and 5 girls) with ASD and 20 healthy peers (15 boys and 5 girls) from pre-school organisations of Lviv. The indicators of ASD children’s development were determined by Binet-Simon Scale for Measuring Intelligence and the Child Autism Assessment Scale (CARS). The average rates of mental development of ASD children were lower than the rates corresponding to their biological age; their delay ranged from 1 year and 2 months to 5 years and 10 months. The investigated children were distributed by autism levels in the following manner: 53% of the children had the low level, 42% had the average level and 5% had the high level of autism. Since the children’s emotions and their self-esteem are important for description of their motivational sphere, these indicators were determined by A. Prizhozhan’s method and M. Lusher's (eight-) colour test. The children’s learning motivation was studied with the questionnaire determining the priority of children’s motives. The healthy children demonstrated the prevalence of social motives over cognitive ones, whereas the ASD children demonstrated the opposite trend. In addition, the ASD children were more interested in a learning process, not in learning results. On the contrary, their healthy peers were more focused on success achievement. The analysed factors allowed us to construct the structural and functional model of learning motivation formation for children with ASD. The model was used in the preschool group for 6 months and ASD children’s motivation was significantly increased (by the following indicators: satisfaction of the need in safety, the psychological climate of a group, formation and partial satisfaction of cognitive needs). The identified changes were reliable, exceeding possible age-related and adaptation changes of the indicators; so, this model can be efficiently used for formation of learning motivation at children with ASD in the Ukrainian pre-school educational organisations.
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