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Autism Spectrum Disorder

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Sonja Cole

on 28 September 2016

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Transcript of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Take a moment to think of three words that come to mind when you think of the word Autism.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development.
What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism Spectrum Disorders are characterized by varying degrees of:
ASD can also be associated with:
(also called "classic" autism)
This is what most people think of when hearing the word "autism."
A neurodevelopmenal disorder that affects girls almost exclusively.

It is characterized by normal early growth and development followed by a slowing of development.
A condition in which children develop normally through age 3 or 4.

Then, over a few months, children lose language, motor, social, and other skills that they already learned.
Autism statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identify:
How Common are ASD's

Not long ago, the answer to this question would have been “we have no idea.”
What Causes ASD'S?
Each person with autism is unique and, so, each autism intervention plan should be tailored to address specific needs.
How are ASD's Treated?
Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew
Ten Things
1. I am first and foremost a child. I have autism.
I am not primarily “autistic.”
My autism is only one aspect of my total character.

It does not define me as a person.
As an adult, you have some control over how you define yourself.
2. My sensory perceptions are disordered.
The ordinary sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches of everyday that you may not even notice can be downright painful for me.
The very environment in which I have to live often seems hostile. I may appear withdrawn or belligerent to you but I am really just trying to defend myself.
My hearing may be hyper-acute
Here is why a “simple” trip to the grocery store may be horrible for me:

My sense of smell may be highly sensitive.

Because I am visually oriented, this may be my first sense to become overstimulated.
3. Please remember to distinguish between won’t (I choose not to) and can’t (I am not able to).
It isn’t that I don’t listen to instructions. It’s that I can’t understand you.
When you call to me from across the room, this is what I hear:
4. I am a concrete thinker.
This means I interpret language very literally.
Idioms, puns, nuances, double entendres, inference, metaphors, allusions and sarcasm lost on me.
It’s very confusing for me when you say,
5. Please be patient with my limited vocabulary.
It’s hard for me to tell you what I need when I don’t know the words to describe my feelings.
I may be hungry, frustrated, frightened or confused but right now those words are beyond my ability to express. Be alert for body language, withdrawal, agitation or other signs that something is wrong.
6. I am very visually oriented.
Please show me how to do something rather than just telling me.

And please be prepared to show me many times. Lots of consistent repetition helps me learn.
A visual schedule is extremely helpful as I move through my day.
7. Please focus and build on what I can
do rather than what I can’t do.
Look for my strengths and you will find them. There is more than one “right” way to do most things.
Like any other human, I can’t learn in an environment
where I’m constantly made to feel that I’m
not good enough and that I need “fixing.”
8. Please help me with social interactions.
It may look like I don’t want to play with the other kids on the playground, but sometimes it’s just that I simply do not know how to start a conversation or enter a play situation.
I do best in structured play activities that have a clear beginning and end.
9. Try to identify what triggers my meltdowns.
Meltdowns, blow-ups, tantrums or whatever you want to call them are even more horrid for me than they are for you.
They occur because one or more of my senses has gone into overload.
10. If you are a family member, please love me unconditionally.
All that I might become won’t happen without you as my foundation.

Think through some of those societal ‘rules’ and if they don’t make sense for me, let them go.

Be my advocate, be my friend, and we’ll see just how far I can go.
Banish thoughts like, “If he would just……” and “Why can’t she…..”
National Institute of Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Autism Speaks

Kentucky Autism Training center
Inspiring Speech About Learning Differently
- Temple Grandin On Autism
How to you think what you have learned will affect your day to day interactions with children who are autistic?
Difficulties in social interaction
Autism Spectrum Disorder
Rett's Disorder
Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

Children with Rett's Disorder show:
loss of purposeful use of the hands
distinctive hand movements
slowed brain and head growth
problems with walking
intellectual disability.
1 in 88 American children as on the autism spectrum
a ten-fold increase in prevalence in 40 years.

Research shows that this increase is only partly explained by improved diagnosis and awareness.

Studies also show that autism is four to five times more common among boys than girls.

An estimated 1 out of 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls are diagnosed with autism in the United States.

By way of comparison, more children are diagnosed with autism each year than with juvenile diabetes, ALS or cancer, combined.
Research is now delivering the answers.
First and foremost, we now know that there is no one cause of autism just as there is no one type of autism.
Over the last five years, scientists have identified a number of rare gene changes, or mutations, associated with autism. A small number of these are sufficient to cause autism by themselves.
Most cases of autism, however, appear to be caused by a combination of autism risk genes and environmental factors influencing early brain development.

Intervention can involve behavioral treatments, medicines or both.
Many persons with autism have additional medical conditions such as sleep disturbance, seizures and gastrointestinal distress. Addressing these conditions can improve attention, learning and related behaviors.
Early intensive behavioral intervention involves a child's entire family, working closely with a team of professionals. In some early intervention programs, therapists come into the home to deliver services.
This can include parent training with the parent leading therapy sessions under the supervision of the therapist. Other programs deliver therapy in a specialized center, classroom or preschool.
If you want to single out a single characteristic, you can make that known.
As a child, I am still unfolding. Neither you nor I yet know what I may be capable of.
Defining me by one characteristic runs the danger of setting up an expectation that may be too low.
And if I get a sense that you don’t think I “can do it,” my natural response will be: Why try?
Dozens of people are talking at once.
The loudspeaker booms today’s special
Music whines from the sound system.
Cash registers beep and cough
A coffee grinder is chugging.
The meat cutter screeches
Babies wail
Carts creak
The fluorescent lighting hums.
My brain can’t filter all the input and I’m in overload!

The fish at the meat counter isn’t quite fresh
The guy standing next to us hasn’t showered today
The deli is handing out sausage samples
The baby in line ahead of us has a dirty diaper
They’re mopping up pickles on aisle 3 with ammonia….
I can’t sort it all out.

I am dangerously nauseated.
The fluorescent light is not only too bright, it buzzes and hums.
The room seems to pulsate and it hurts my eyes. The pulsating light bounces off everything and distorts what I am seeing
-- the space seems to be constantly changing.
There’s glare from windows
Too many items for me to be able to focus
Moving fans on the ceiling
So many bodies in constant motion.
All this affects my vestibular and proprioceptive senses, and now I can’t even tell where my body is in space.
“ASDfdofiejn, Billy. Asdfoawei………”
Instead, come speak directly to me in plain words:
“Please put your book in your desk, Billy. It’s time to go to lunch.”
This tells me what you want me to do and what is going to happen next.

Now it is much easier for me to comply.
“Hold your horses, cowboy!”
when what you really mean is “Please stop running."
” Don’t tell me something is a “piece of cake”
When there is no dessert in sight and what you really mean is
“This will be easy for you to do.”
When you say “It’s pouring cats and dogs,” I see pets coming out of a pitcher.
Please just tell me “It’s raining very hard.”
Or, there’s a flip side to this: I may sound like a “little professor” or movie star, rattling off words or whole scripts well beyond my developmental age. These are messages I have memorized from the world around me to compensate for my language deficits because I know I am expected to respond when spoken to.
They may come from books, TV, the speech of other people.
It is called “echolalia.” I don’t necessarily understand the context or the terminology I’m using. I just know that it gets me off the hook for coming up with a reply.
It relieves me of the stress of having to remember what comes next, makes for smooth transition between activities, helps me manage my time and meet your expectations.

I won’t lose the need for a visual schedule as I get older, but my “level of representation” may change.
Before I can read, I need a visual schedule with photographs or simple drawings. As I get older, a combination of words and pictures may work, and later still, just words.
Trying anything new when I am almost sure to be met with criticism, however “constructive,” becomes something to be avoided.
I don’t know how to “read” facial expressions, body language or the emotions of others, so I appreciate ongoing coaching in proper social responses.
For example, if I laugh when Emily falls off the slide, it’s not that I think it’s funny. It’s that I don’t know the proper response. Teach me to say “Are you OK?”
If you can figure out why my meltdowns occur, they can be prevented.
Keep a log noting times, settings, people, activities. A pattern may emerge.
Try to remember that all behavior is a form of communication. It tells you, when my words cannot, how I perceive something that is happening in my environment.
You did not fulfill every last expectation your parents had for you and you wouldn’t like being constantly reminded of it.
I did not choose to have autism.
But remember that it is happening to me, not you.
Without your support, my chances of successful, self-reliant adulthood are slim.
With your support and guidance, the possibilities are broader than you might think.
I promise you – I am worth it.
And finally, three words:
Patience. Patience. Patience.
Work to view my autism as a different ability rather than a disability.
Look past what you may see as limitations and see the gifts autism has given me.
It may be true that I’m not good at eye contact or conversation, but have you noticed that I don’t lie, cheat at games, tattle on my classmates or pass judgment on other people?

Also true that I probably won’t be the next Michael Jordan. But with my attention to fine detail and capacity for extraordinary focus, I might be the next Einstein. Or Mozart. Or Van Gogh.
They had autism too.
Review the three words you chose at the beginning.

Have your views changed?
Rethink about the term "Autism".

What does it bring to mind now?
Verbal and non-verbal communication
Repetitive behaviors
Intellectual disability
Difficulties in motor coordination
Difficulties with attention
Physical health concerns such as seizures, anxiety, depression, and gastrointestinal disturbances
Temple Grandin the movie; HBO Films, Ruby Films.
View this clip from the HBO movie "Temple Grandin" this movie is based on the life story of Temple Grandin a famous individual who has autism and a successful career in Animal Husbandry and Autism avocation.

This Clip address some of the behavioral tendencies of children with autism, and why they occur.
Temple Grandin- Rethinking Autism
Parenting a Child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder
This Last Video Clip will share some strategies for working with children who have autism from the perspective of an early childhood educator and mother of two children who are autistic.
Different Not Less:
Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder

The American Autism Society defines autism as:
"a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life"
Common Myths about ASD
1. Autism is contagious
2. Autism only affects boys.
3. Autism is caused by aloof parenting
While research shows that autism can run in families- it is not contagious.
Although it is 4 times more common in boys than girls- it can affect both genders.
This myth came about in the 1970's and has been proven to be untrue.
Common Myths about ASD
4. Children with ASD live in their own worlds all the time.
Obsession with objects and movement is often documented in children with ASD. However, children can be engaged or involved in Activities.
5. Children with Autism don't like to be touched.
Tactile Sensitivity is common in children with an ASD. However, this is not true for all children with ASD- who enjoy being close to people.
What is Autism?
significant delay in social interaction, such as eye contact or facial expression
a communication delay
behaviors including stereotypical behavior, such as intense, almost obsessive, preoccupation with objects.
the need for routines that are non-functional and ritualistic, such as lining up all the books or food in a certain manner.
repeating motor movements over and over, such as finger-popping or hand flapping.
Hyper or hyper reactivity to sensory input or unusual interest in sensory aspect of the environment.
Characteristics of ASD include:
Rett's Disorder is a degenerative disability- meaning it gets worse over time.
Sometimes called Heller's Syndrome
How is Autism Diagnosed?
Autism is a medical diagnosis and requires a full examination by a physician.
The medical evaluation may be completed by a pediatrician, psychiatrist, or a team of medical providers.
This will determine if the child meets medical or psychological criteria for autism.
A second evaluation will be conducted by the Part C (early intervention services) or LEA (school system) to determine if the child qualifies for special education services.
How Do I Know What Services are Available for Children With Autism?
Once a child is diagnosed with Autism, there are laws that help determine the services the child should receive.
The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) PL - 101-476 outlines very specific guidelines that school districts are required by law to adhere to when providing services for the needs of children with disabilities.
Learning the Characteristics of Children With ASD.
Undesired Behaviors-
Lack of Functional Communication-
Problems with Social Interaction-
Maladaptive Behaviors-
A behavior that is not common in most children- or a behavior that is so severe that it interferes with learning.
repetitive hand flapping
self- injurious, such as hitting or biting themselves.
obsession with objects
following rituals- such as arranging items in certain orders.
tantrums beyond typical in children
over-aggressiveness toward other children
Non- Functional Communication is speech that is understood but has no relevance to the interaction that is taking place.
nonsense speech
No Speech or Language
Only interacts when something is needed
Interacts with objects, not people
Preoccupation with things, not people
Routines that must be followed
Only eats specific types of food
Obsessions with objects
The echoing and repetition of a phrase or word. Child often does not realize they are doing something out of the ordinary. Cannot be controlled or stopped on command.
People on the autism spectrum have problems in three areas: social interaction, communicating with others, and behavioral challenges. Autism is referred to as an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) because people with autism have varying degrees of disability.
Autism is defined as a spectrum disorder because children with autism have characteristics that fall into a spectrum from very mild to quite severe.
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