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Transcript of Autism
By: Kylie Wells, Taylor Lucas, Itzel Garcia, Nevin Simons
What Can Cause Autism
There is no single cause for autism
Generally accepted idea is that it is caused by abnormalities in brain structure or functionality.
Autism tends to occur more frequently than expected among individuals who have certain medical conditions, including Fragile X syndrome
Some harmful substances ingested during pregnancy also have been associated with an increased risk of autism
How Autism is Diagnosed
Parents first notice child
Fails making eye contact
not respond to name
loss of social and language skills
Modified Checklist of Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT)
questions about child
answers determine if they should be evaluated by specialist
difficulties in the social use of verbal and nonverbal communication
deficits result in functional limitations in effective communication, social participation, social relationships, academic achievement, or occupational performance, individually or in combination.
symptoms are not attributable to another medical condition
Diagnosis for ASD:
deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts
Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities
Symptoms must be present in the early developmental period
Different Levels of Autism
Most practitioners describe autism as a spectrum. At one end of the spectrum are those who cannot function in society due to their impairments, while at the other end are those people who can have independent and successful lives.
5 Great People Who've Had Autism
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Sir Isaac Newton
What is Autism?
Autism is a group of complex brain disorders that have to do with the development of the brain.
Facts About Autism
About 40 percent have average to above average intellectual abilities.
1 in 88 American children have Autism. This is a 10x increase in 40 years.
4 to 5 times more common in boys.
1 out of 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls.
10 to 17 percent Increase annually over recent years.
Autism costs a family $60,000 a year on average
There is no medical detection or cure for autism
Very little or no eye contact.
Resistance to being held or touched.
Tends to get too close when speaking to someone (lack of personal space).
Abnormal use of pitch, intonation, rhythm of stress while speaking.
Speech is abnormally loud or quiet/Difficulty whispering.
Repeats last words or phrases several times.
Many and varied collections.
Walks on toes.
Difficulty changing from one floor surface to another (carpet to wood, sidewalk to grass).
Difficulty moving through a space (bumps into objects or people).
Tips For Dealing With Autistic Children
stick to a schedule
Reward good behavior
Have a Safety zone
figure out the need behind tantrum
have fun time
pay attention to sensory sensitivities
Miller-Wilson, K. (n.d.). "Different levels of autism".
Characteristics of Autism
How the Diagnosis Has Changed
Before only covered children with severe social and language impairments
Autism Spectrum Disorder
diagnosis separated an Asperger Syndrome diagnosis and some other common elements of autism.
In DSM-IV, symptoms were divided into three areas
caused by functional impairment
The Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS), asks the person assessing the individual to rank the autistic symptoms on a scale of 1 to 4, with 4 being the most severe. If the individual receives a higher score on the CARS assessment, he or she is diagnosed with severe autism. Conversely, if the person with autism receives a lower score, he or she is diagnosed with high-functioning or mild autism.
Typically, when a child receives an autism diagnosis, it will involve one of the five autism subgroups.
- This diagnosis indicates an individual with a high functioning level and good verbal skills. Most of the impairment is in social interactions and functional use of language. Many health professionals are hesitant to diagnose people with Asperger's because it's likely that this disorder may be considered high-functioning autism in future versions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM).
- If the individual meets the basic criteria for autism diagnosis laid out by the DSM-IV, they will receive this medical label. Functioning can range from very high to very low.
Pervasive developmental disorder, Not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS)
- Individuals receive this diagnosis if they have some but not all of the characteristics of classic autism. Their functioning level is usually moderate to high.
- Individuals with this disorder are usually female and can have moderate or low functioning levels. The disorder develops as the child ages.
Childhood disintegrative disorder
- This disorder typically affects toddlers and preschoolers. They lose language and social skills and typically have moderate or low functioning levels.
Children with autism are mandated through the creation of an Individualized Education Program (IEP). Each IEP is designed for one child. Its purpose is to meet that child's specific special education needs. It sets goals and objectives and describes what services a child will receive as part of his or her special education program.
Not everyone with Autism needs an IEP
Characteristics of Low-Functioning or Severe Autism
Impaired Mental or Cognitive Functioning
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, some individuals with autism, especially those with low functioning levels, also have a IQ of below 70 and problems with adaptive behaviors like self-care and communication.
Lack of Language
Autism Speaks reports that 25% of people on the spectrum are non-verbal. This means they cannot use spoken words to communicate with others. Many people diagnosed as low-functioning are non-verbal. Those that are verbal have great difficulty using words to communicate.
Severe Behavior Concerns
Repetitive or atypical behaviors are a trademark of autism, and in those with low-functioning autism, these behaviors may severely affect day-to-day activities. Additionally, frustration about communication and sensory overload can lead to behaviors that disrupt others and may even cause harm to the individual. If forced to deal with a change in routine, an individual may become very angry.
It is very difficult to interact with someone with severe autism. The individual may not be aware of what others are saying or doing, and it may take significant effort to gain his or
Characteristics of Moderate Autism
Normal or Below-Normal Mental Functioning
A person with moderate autism may have some degree of a mental impairment, or he or she may have a normal IQ of about 100. This person may find self-care tasks challenging.
Someone with moderate autism is likely to have trouble communicating. While he or she may be verbal, it may be very challenging to converse in a typical manner. Speech may include some functional communication and some repetitive language or non-functional verbal attempts. The individual may prefer to communicate through signs or technological devices.
Some Behavior Concerns
An adult or child with moderate autism may be over or under-sensitive to sounds, sights, and other types of stimulation. This may lead to behavior concerns. Additionally, it's common for those with moderate autism to actively resist any change in their normal routine and to display behaviors like rocking, hand flapping, walking on toes, or spinning in circles.
A person with a moderate autism spectrum disorder will appear aloof. He or she may not try to interact with others, and it may be very challenging to initiate an interaction with this person. However, someone with moderate autism is generally aware that others are in the room.
Adults with moderate autism often require assistance, but they can have some level of independence in their jobs and living conditions.
Characteristics of High-Functioning or Mild Autism
Normal or Above-Normal Intelligence
People with mild autistic spectrum disorders have normal intelligence, and in many cases, they score well above normal on IQ tests. Despite this, they may struggle with some tasks requiring them to make sudden decisions or change regular routines.
Normal Verbal Skills But Some Communication Challenges
In order to be diagnosed with high-functioning autism, an individual must be verbal. He or she may struggle with functional communication, however. This type of individual may know several different synonyms for the word "beverage," but he or she may find it challenging to ask for a drink in some situations. Tone of voice may also appear robotic or odd.
Fewer Behavior Concerns
While an individual with high-functioning autism may show some resistance to routine and some repetitive motions, he or she is unlikely to disrupt others significantly with these behaviors. This person may have a passionate interest in a single topic. There may be some sensory concerns as well.
Someone with mild autism may struggle with the finer points of social interaction, including eye contact, maintaining a back-and-forth conversation, interpreting body language and tone of voice, and interacting with others at an age-appropriate level. This person may have difficulties taking the perspective of others.
Many high-functioning autistic individuals live and work independently.
How is autism treated
There is no cure for ASDs. Therapies and behavioral interventions are only designed to remedy specific symptoms and can bring about improvement. Most health care professionals agree that the earlier the intervention, the better.
Therapists use highly structured and intensive skill-oriented training sessions to help children develop social and language skills, such as Applied Behavioral Analysis. Family counseling for the parents and siblings of children with an ASD often helps families cope with the particular challenges of living with a child with an ASD.
Doctors may prescribe medications for treatment of specific autism-related symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, or obsessive-compulsive disorder. Antipsychotic medications are used to treat severe behavioral problems. Seizures can be treated with one or more anticonvulsant drugs. Medication used to treat people with attention deficit disorder can be used effectively to help decrease impulsivity and hyperactivity.
There are a number of controversial therapies or interventions available, but few, if any, are supported by scientific studies. Parents should use caution before adopting any unproven treatments. Although dietary interventions have been helpful in some children, parents should be careful that their child’s nutritional status is carefully followed.
Autism Speaks, Inc.
1 East 33rd Street
New York, NY 10016
http://www.autismspeaks.org External link
Tel: 212-252-8584 (888) 288-4762
NINDS. (2013, August 21). "Autism fact sheet
Autism Speaks. (N.D.)"How Is Autism Diagnosed?"
Hyman, S. (2013). "New DSM-5 includes changes to autism criteria"
Smith, Melinda. (2013, July). "Helping Children with Autism: Autism Treatment Strategies and Parenting Tips"
Arizona Centers for Comprehensive Education and Life-Skills (ACCEL) is a private, nonprofit special education program for individuals, ages 5-21.
Location: 10251 N. 35th Ave. Phoenix AZ 85051
Phone: (602) 995-7366
Fax: (602) 995-0867
. N.p.. Web. 24 Oct 2013. <http://www.phxautism.org/resources/schools/>.
Autism Academy for Education and Development K-8th grade
Address: 1540 N. Burk Street
Gilbert, AZ 85234