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Autism in Education

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Shannon Roberts

on 6 April 2014

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Transcript of Autism in Education

Autism In Education
April is Autism
Awareness Month

Temple Grandin
General Facts
Staying a Step Ahead
Characteristics of School Programs that promote successful inclusion:
Behavior Intervention
Defining features of Autism Spectrum Disorders
Four Functions of Behavior
* About 1:88 children identified with autism.
(New study increases rates to 1:50)
*This is a 78% increase since 2007.
*Three types of Autism Spectrum Disorder (for now)
Autistic Disorder
Asperger Syndrome
Pervasive Developmental Disorder (not otherwise specified)
*ASDs are almost 5 times more common among boys (1 in 54) than
among girls (1 in 252).
*Approximately 40-50% of individuals with autism also have mental
retardation. This means that approximately 50-60% of individuals with
autism have a normal IQ!
Behavioral interventions to address problem behaviors can be either preventive or reactive.
Autism Is...
A developmental disability
A communication, sensory and interactional disability
A neurophysiological disorder
Behaviorally defined
A life-long disability (begins before the age of 3 and lasts throughout a person's life)
Treated through good educational programs
Variable in its severity across individuals
Shannon Roberts
Special Services Teacher

Autism Is Not...
A mental or emotional illness

Curable

Diagnosable by any type of medical procedure

Simply a behavior disorder

The same set of behaviors in all individuals
A. Social impairment

B. Impairments in language,
communication and play, and

C. Repetitive and restricted behaviors
YOU MAY FIND THAT THE CHILDREN WITH ASD ARE NOT UNFEELING, AND MAY WANT TO HELP OTHERS, BUT NEED TO BE SPECIFICALLY INSTRUCTED IN HOW TO DO IT.
Children with ASD may reenact scenes from videos, movie or TV programs (which they also like to watch repetitively as well.)

Don’t expect kid with ASDs to understand sarcasm. Your student may take you literally if you say sarcastically, “Nice job cleaning up, John!”

Pragmatic skills are usually impaired. Includes: Conversational skills such as staying on topic, acknowledging the other person’s statements, and expanding or adding to what the other person says, maintaining an appropriate degree of eye contact and physical distance.

Echolalia: Imitation of what others say to an unusual degree.

Scripted language: a “script” an individual has learned to use in certain situations.
May have to repeat certain behaviors in certain environments.
May be very rigid with change.
Many times thrives with consistency. (This includes schedules, staff and environments.
Sensory
It feels good!
Or...it drives me crazy!
Under-reactivity
Can be seen in any children, but more common with cognitive impairment.

May ignore stimuli that should be painful.
Over-reactivity
Common in all intellectual levels.
Maybe unable to tolerate bright lights, loud noises, including music, loud talking, machines, or airplanes, certain tastes and smells, and certain types of touch.
Fire drills can be excruciating.
May like/crave deep pressure, such as a firm back rub, or piling pillows on top of themselves.
They may pull away from light touch (tactile defensiveness).
Certain types of fabric may be very uncomfortable.
Sensory-Seeking
Behaviors
Used to provide certain types of repetitive sensations.
Rocking back and forth, twiddling fingers in front of eyes...
If they are not disruptive, they can be ignored.
If they are distracting, replace the behavior.
Over-reactivity
Tangible
I want something!
Over-reactivity
Social / Attention
You paid attention to me!
Escape
I would rather get in trouble than do
what you just asked me to do!
Determining the Function of Behavior
Functional Behavior Assessment: formal system of evaluating and analyzing problem behavior that is often used with children on the autism spectrum.

ABC’s:
Antecedents: What comes before the behavior?
Behavior: What is the behavior itself?
Consequences: What are the consequences? What comes after the behavior and may be serving to reinforce and maintain it?

A reactive intervention is one in which you’re reacting to a behavior that has already occurred, .
Often, paying attention to the child or letting her escape from a nonpreferred task reinforces problem behaviors.
If a child is throwing a tantrum over a writing assignment that has just been assigned, they are not going to hear what you say, or be able to process it.
Exclusively reactive methods of intervention tend to be ineffective.
Reactive
Preventive
(or proactive)
Preventive, or proactive interventions anticipate the student’s possible reactions and provide supports to help the child react in an appropriate way.
Modify the environment
Make minimal changes.
Includes reducing demand.
Changing physical environment. (Smells, florescent lights, noise, movement)
Teach the child to cope with the environment. (Drive different paths!)
Teaching appropriate behaviors
Make substitutions for problem behaviors
Look for something the student can do easily so they won’t revert to the problem behavior.
If student has been throwing books on the floor when upset, it may not be easy for them to verbalize, “I need a break please.” Instead have a break card they can flip on their desk.
To motivate the child to continue to use the alternative behavior, adults and peers must be sure of give them what they are seeking through the appropriate behavior.
Noncompliance
Setting limits on inappropriate behavior and reinforcing appropriate behavior is extremely important! (Students want boundaries. Living with no boundaries feels like living in a world of constant chaos.)
Pick you battles and set priorities. Don't choose to address all behaviors at once.
Don't get into a debate. You won't win!
Give positive consequences for appropriate behaviors.
Reinforcers
Define most potent reinforcers for the student!
Gaining time to engage in preoccupations
Preferred snacks
Break away from interaction with other people.
Rewards will lose their potency over time.
Always pair concrete reinforcers with social praise. Social praise when paired with concrete reinforcers will start to become more meaningful.
Premack Schedule: Following the completion of a task, the student should be reinforced with a scheduled break. Alternating liked and disliked activities!
Gradually increase the length of time the child must wait between rewards.
Token reinforcement systems.
Getting off to a Good Start
Before school ever starts, give a tour of the building and their schedule when the school is empty. (This may need to be done multiple times.)
Take pictures or videos of the school and staff.
Prepare the student for any staff changes.
Give the student a schedule to prepare. Picture or written depending on their skill level.
Students with ASD typically are more successful with their own desk/area rather than a shared table with community supplies.
Let them know clear expectations upfront. Many people with ASD likes rules and take them literally.
Teaching Strategies
Use pre-practice or pre-teaching liberally
Errorless Learning
Provide prompts:
Stroll down the aisle, make eye contact and smile.
Remind him quietly of the time left.
Remind him of the reinforcer.
Ask if he needs help.
Provide help with a problem he is stuck on.
Use positive reinforcements very liberally.
Use Schedules
Self Monitoring
Use Functional Analysis of Problem Behavior (FBA)
Use peers as mentors or buddies.
Video
Self Modeling
CHOICES
Staff has training in the behavioral needs and learning style of children with ASD.
Classmates are made aware of special skills/expertise the student with ASD has.
Parents are kept informed and support the program.
Staff are optimistic about the student’s success and are committed to doing whatever they can to make it work.
The child’s team meets regularly to consider the student’s progress.
The general education teacher receives sufficient consultation and supervision.
The teacher has enough time to make needed modifications to material, or has access to an assistant that can help.
The teacher fosters a classroom atmosphere to group cooperation and acceptance of everyone’s differences.
The student with ASD is placed in a classroom with a high teacher to student ratio.
The class has only one or two children with ASD or other significant disabilities that require intensive adult support.
If needed, the student is provided a trained one-on-one assistant.
Support services and therapies are available (PT, OT, Speech and Language, etc.)
Adaptive or assistive devices are available as needed.
Resources
Project Access: http://education.missouristate.edu/access/
Centers for Disease Control: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/index.html
Autism Speaks: http://www.autismspeaks.org/
Full transcript