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Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders

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Preoccupied with objects, songs, commercials, etc.; shows unusual attachments to ... A Pervasive Developmental Disorder often confused with autism in preschool years. ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders


1
AutismandAutism Spectrum Disorders
  • Dickey LaMoure Special Education

2
Autism Definition
  • Autism is a developmental disability that
    significantly affects verbal and nonverbal
    communication and social interaction, generally
    before age three, that adversely affects a
    childs performance. It is one of the pervasive
    developmental disorders.

3
Autism
  • Autism is a complex developmental disability.
    It appears during the first three years of
    childhood and continues throughout life.

4
Prevalence
  • Autism and associated behaviors are estimated to
    occur in as many as 21,000 to 61,000 people.
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    2001)
  • It is 4 times more prevalent in boys than girls.
  • It knows no racial, ethnic, or social boundaries.
  • Family income, lifestyle, and educational levels
    do not affect the chance it will occur.

5
Autism - Symptoms
  • People with autism show 3 types of symptoms
  • impaired social interaction
  • problems with verbal and nonverbal communication
  • unusual or severely limited activities and
    interests
  • Symptoms vary in severity.

6
Impaired Social Interaction
  • Ignores others or does not engage in cooperative
    play
  • Doesnt follow directions
  • Poor eye contact
  • Tunes others out seems to be in his/her own
    world
  • May throw tantrums or display hyperactivity, or
    uncooperative or oppositional behavior.

7
Problems with Communication
  • Doesnt converse with others
  • Stereotyped receptive or idiosyncratic language
  • Rarely points to an object to direct another
    person to look at the object
  • May not respond to his/her name
  • Cannot explain what he/she wants
  • Delayed language skills or speech
  • Seems to tune people out.

8
Unusual or Limited Activities and Interests
  • Preoccupied with objects, songs, commercials,
    etc. shows unusual attachments to toys, or
    schedules (always holding a string or having to
    put socks on before pants)
  • Engages in nonfunctional routines gets stuck
    on things and cant move on to other things
  • Odd movement patterns
  • Lack of pretend play
  • Prefers to play alone not interested in other
    children
  • Doesnt know how to play with toys.

9
Other Characteristics
  • Doesnt smile when smiled at
  • Resistance to environmental change
  • Abnormal responses to sounds, touch, and/or other
    sensory stimulation.

The term does not apply if a childs educational
performance is adversely affected primarily
because a child has a serious emotional
disturbance.
10
Early Intervention
  • It has been discovered that some children with
    autism have a dramatic response to early
    intensive behavioral interventions, and most are
    helped substantially. For example, early
    intervention can result in a significant increase
    in IQ and language ability and a decrease in
    support services needed later in childhood. These
    results stand in stark contrast to the very poor
    outcomes of children who do not receive early
    intervention. (Autism Center, Univ. of
    Washington)

11
Educational Planning
  • Educational planning for students with autism
    must address a wide range of skill development,
    including
  • academics
  • communication and language skills
  • social skills
  • self-help skills
  • behavioral issues
  • leisure skills

12
Educational Planning
  • Programs may include several treatment components
    coordinated to assist a person with autism.
  • One program may consist of speech therapy, social
    skill development and medication within a
    structured behavior program.
  • Another may include social skill development,
    sensory integration and dietary changes.

No one program or diet is perfect for every
person with autism. It's important to try several
approaches and find the ones that work best on an
individual basis.
13
Educational Planning
  • Academic goals need to be tailored to the
    individual's intellectual ability and functioning
    level.
  • Some children may need help understanding social
    situations and developing appropriate responses.
  • Others may exhibit aggressive or self-injurious
    behavior and need assistance managing behavior.

14
Educational Planning - Curriculum Adaptations
  • Can the student participate in the unmodified
    activity?
  • Can the student participate in the activity with
    adapted materials, support, or modified
    expectations?
  • Can the student participate in this activity by
    working on embedded communication , motor, or
    social skills?

15
Educational Planning Inclusion in the Regular
Class
  • Children whose needs are not at the severe end
    of the spectrum can be successfully included in
    the regular classroom.

16
Educational Planning Considerations in the
Regular Class
  • Lack of generalization of learning (every
    situation appears different to the child)
  • Lack of incidental learning (everything needs to
    be directly taught)
  • Literalness of understanding
  • Difficulties becoming involved in group
    activities including play and games
  • Possible reactions to over-stimulation.

17
Educational Planning Considerations in the
Regular Class
  • Realize that non-compliant behaviors may have
    other meanings for the child--they may be the
    child's only way of asking for help or attention
  • Provide clear structure and a set daily routine
  • Provide warning of any change of routine or
    activity
  • Using clear, unambiguous language avoid humor,
    irony, or phrases like my feet are killing me
    or it's raining cats and dogs.

18
Educational Planning Considerations in the
Regular Class
  • Repeat instructions and check understanding
  • Using short sentences to ensure clarity of
    instructions
  • Using various means of presentation (visual,
    physical guidance, peer modeling, etc.)
  • Teaching social rules/skills directly (such as
    turn-taking and social distance)
  • Minimize or remove distractions.

19
Educational Planning Considerations in the
Regular Class
  • Protect the pupil from teasing during free time,
    and provide peers with some awareness of the
    students particular needs
  • Allow the pupil to avoid certain activities (such
    as sports and games) which s/he may not
    understand or like
  • Explore word-processing and computer-based
    learning for literacy.

20
Educational Planning
  • Parents and professionals need to work together.
  • Teachers should have some understanding of the
    child's behavior and communication skills at
    home
  • Parents should let teachers know about their
    expectations as well as what techniques work at
    home.

21
Educational Planning
  • Open communication between school and home leads
    to better evaluation of progress
  • Community goals (purchasing meals, grocery
    shopping) and leisure activity goals should be
    reinforced through work at school
  • Cooperation between parents, teachers and other
    professionals leads to increased success for the
    individual with autism.

22
Other Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Aspergers Syndrome
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise
    Specified
  • Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
  • Rhetts Disorder

23
Aspergers Syndrome
  • Characteristics similar to Autism
  • Deficits in social interaction
  • Unusual responses to the environment.
  • Characteristics different from Autism
  • Cognitive communicative development are normal
    or near-normal in the first years of life
  • Verbal skills are an area of relative strength.
  • Idiosyncratic interests are common may take the
    form of unusual or highly defined interest (e.g.,
    whales, the weather schedules, number of signs).

24
Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD-NOS)
  • With PDD-NOS, some, but not all features of
    autism (or another identified Pervasive
    Developmental Disorder) are identified.
  • Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise
    Specified is included in DSM-IV to include cases
    with marked impairment of social interaction,
    communication, and/or stereotyped behavior
    patterns or interest but full features for autism
    or another PDD are not met.

25
Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
  • A rare condition, only recently officially
    recognized frequently incorrectly diagnosed
  • Children develop a condition that resembles
    autism but only after a relatively prolonged
    period of normal development (usually 2 to 4
    years)
  • Characterized by a loss of skills over time
  • Differs from autism in the pattern of onset and
    course.

26
Retts Disorder (or Retts Syndrome)
  • A Pervasive Developmental Disorder often confused
    with autism in preschool years.
  • The course and onset of Retts is very
    distinctive. 
  • Normal development until 6-18 months of age,
  • Loss of acquired speech and hand skills, motor
    problems are quite striking
  • Slowing of head growth,
  • Development of stereotyped repetitive hand
    movements 
  • profound mental retardation is typical.
  • Occurs primarily in girls. 

27
The End
  • For more information on mild forms of autism, see
    the presentation on Aspergers Syndrome.
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