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Asperger's Syndrome

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Kim Ellis

on 14 April 2013

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Transcript of Asperger's Syndrome

Core Features of Asperger's Syndrome lack of social understanding
limited ability in reciprocal conversation
intense interest in particular subject Tony Atwood - The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome, p. 12 Who discovered Asperger's Syndrome?
When? Dr Hans Asperger
A Viennese paediatrician
1944, remarkably perceptive description
He noticed that some of the children referred to his clinics had very similar personality characteristics and behaviors
After he died - 1980 - the term was used for first time Causes of Asperger's Syndrome How do you recognise
Aperger's Syndrome? Causes are unknown
Could be a combination of factors:
Research is ongoing The National Autistic Society (2013) Six Points to look for:
1. Social Impairment - egocentric
2. Narrow interest
3. Compulsive need for routines and interests
4. Speech and language peculiarities
5. Non-verbal communication problems
6. Motor clumsiness Causes of Asperger's Syndrome Tony Atwood (2006) “Asperger’s syndrome is due to a dysfunction of specific structures and systems in the brain.

In short, the brain is ‘wired’ differently, not necessarily defectively, and this was not caused by what a parent did or did not do during the child’s development.” (p.327) Diet So...if we do not know the cause, how do we manage it? ...3 areas... Vaccines and ASDs Further studies needed to prove a connection
Possible link with Mumps/Measles vaccine "There are many remedies for the common cold because none of them work - if there was one that did work it would instantly become the market leader and the rest would fall by the wayside." Paul G. Taylor Dietary modification, such as gluten free or casein (dairy) free diets
Digestive enzyme supplementation
Free fatty acid (omega 3) supplementation Medication Consider everything else first!
Consider other factors i.e pain
Use medications that have a proven track record
Examples of Medication
Tranquilizers (self injury/harm)
Benzodiazepines (anxiety)
Beta Blockers (anxiety/irritability
Multiple medications
May need to step back or get a second opinion Environment "Asperger's Syndrome (AS) is usually described as a mild form of autism, but, believe me, though the good outweighs the bad there are some bits that are certainly not mild.
AS people reading this, do you feel as if you only have a "mild" problem when you are having one of those days where you feel as if you may well be from another planet?"
- Luke Jackson (2002) Implications for the School Make sure everybody involved understands
Whole-of-School Approach
The ASD student
Curriculum Specific Strategies Strategies for Education Strategies for Social Skills Strategies for Physical Strategies for Emotional Increase social motivation and esteem
Go slow - start with "Names"
Present LOTS of opportunities for success
Focus on skills development
Praise the desired skills and behavior from the beginning
Increase social initiations/responses
Praise the child for initiating a conversation or responding
Reduce interfering behaviors
Clear rules from the start
Differential reinforcement
Promote skills generalisation
Explicitly promote/practice generalisation More Strategies for Social Skills Discrete trial
a cue, prompt, behavior, reinforcement
Incidental teaching
teach about a social situation as it is occurring
Social skill picture stories
to teach specific social skills
Cognitive picture rehearsal
show card just before student enters this situation
Social stories
Structured learning
explanation of the skill
modeling of skills
role-playing skill with feedback
practice in a group Working with Parents Positive Relationships
approachable practitioners
openness, honesty, trust
sharing ideas
records of contracts
Each must be continually monitored and explicitly valued. in the Classroom and School
Well organised room
Simply decorated
Simple display boards
Simple desk layout
Min. 4-5 grouped desks
place AS on outer edge
near end of row
Variety of visuals
pictures on card
class rules up Schedule of day in clearly visible location
Picture cues
Home Base - just for them
Go here if:
Need to calm down
Individual work
Checklists for tasks
Stress Cards Ms. Vestibular
Ms. Auditory
hearing: volume, pitch, tone
Ms. Visual
sight: colour, line, shape etc
Mr. Gustatory
taste: sweet, sour
Ms. Olfactory
smell: memory link
Ms. Proprioception
body awareness: push, pull, flex
Ms. Tactile
touch: presssure, hard, soft, pain Many children with Asperger's Syndrome relate to the world through their senses. Windows Apple OS Practice motor skills
Picture cards for exercises
Game rules as visuals
Praise! A Story... Laura has no interest in participating in competitive sports or games and communal activities. She in not interested in comparing her performance with that of other people. She has no interest in how well other children do. She is indifferent to the idea of self-improvement. It would never occur to her that other people enjoy being competitive.
So why bother?
What would you do as her teacher? Meltdowns! Meltdown triggers:
Anger Preventing Meltdowns Active - send on a run
Walk with them (no eye contact)
Special Interest - Calming
Repetitive Activities
Resolving a Meltdown Diffuse ASAP
Speak calmly, quietly, in-control voice
Send to a quiet place
Talk after it is over. References
Full transcript