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Autism Spectrum Disorder

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on 27 June 2014

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Transcript of Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism Spectrum Disorder
Interacting with peers gives students with autism a chance to practice communication skills, develop friendships, and see how peers behave in everyday situations.
Feeling part of the classroom community, go to a local school
peers also benefit by having students with autism in the classroom. When peers of children with autism are educated about autism, and are given an opportunity to act as peer tutors/buddies, they learn acceptance and empathy, act as role models, and become more aware of individual strengths and weaknesses (Wagner, 1999).
Inclusion works best when: administrators are supportive, there is good communication and collaboration between home and school, teachers have received specialized training, student progress is documented and maintained, and peers are educated.
Inclusive environments can provide opportunities for children with autism to increase their social interactions and in turn improve their social skills.
Characteristics of ASD As Seen In The Classroom

-Meet with parents prior to start of year to demonstrate support and allow student to adjust to setting of the classroom and general layout
-Model for other classmates how to interact with someone with autism
-Use Social Stories to assist with responding to unfamiliar or difficult situations
-Use reinforcers (rewards) that work for the student
-Drama can be used to discuss and practice a variety of appropriate responses to various situations
School-Based Interventions
smaller class sizes
teach to social cues- topics that might not be appropriate/ pertinent in an inclusive class.
Use consistent classroom routines
Cater to learning styles- Give visual instructions, rules and use visual classroom schedules. Use of auditory cues, and time warnings
clearly organized classroom, with less visual distraction. Pre-selected self-calm area.
Occupational, behavioural or sensory therapy might be available.
Make the most of special interests to introduce new and difficult tasks. Use special interests as motivators to help students engage in new and/or difficult material.
Assistive technology or equipment available.
Feeling of not being "different".

Any product or system that is used to improve the functional ability of individuals with exceptionalities. Assistive technology can be high tech or low tech and increases independence and can improve the quality of life for many people. Individuals with autism use technology to improve communication and aid in their ability to learn.

There are many AT options available to students with autism from low tech solutions to high tech including:
Writing - pencil grip (low tech) or special software (high tech)
Reading - talking book reader or adapted books
Communication - Augmentative communication devices (tap and talk - iPad app)
Access - touch screens
Positive behavior support - visual timers and symbol charts

Helps them to understand their environment
Improves communication skills
Increases social interaction
Aids with organization
Increases independence

"My daughter Riley is 7 years old. Riley struggles with writing. In the classroom and at home Riley uses special computer software that provides text to speech to support her writing. Riley also has limited speech abilities and becomes frustrated when she can't communicate with others. With the aid of a voice output communication system along with a picture communication book she is able to communicate better with others. To support positive behavior in the classroom, the teacher uses software to create schedules that have symbols for classroom rules (put away backpack). Riley is fortunate that in her classroom there is a smart board. This increases Riley's learning by providing opportunities for her to interact with learning materials and receive both auditory and tactile experiences."

Autism is....

Picture Exchange Communication System
Used primarily for children who are non-verbal or have limited communication skills,

Social Stories
Create stories to assist a student with a particularly difficult social situation, and to provide ideas as to how to appropriately react to a problematic scenario.

Treatment and Education of Autistic and Communication Related Handicapped Children (TEACCH)
Uses visual supports and step-by-step explicit visually available instructions for the student to complete a task or a routine situation, to enhance the students’ self-monitoring and independence.

Autism is a complex developmental disability that typically appears during the first three years of life
It is the result of a neurological disorder that affects the functioning of the brain
It impacts the typical development of the brain in areas like social interaction and communication skills
In some cases, aggressive and/or self injurious behavior may be present
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a general category of disorders, characterized by severe and pervasive impairment in several areas of development
The 3 main types of ASD are: Asperger's syndrome, Pervasive developmental disorder, and Autistic disorder.
Autism Spectrum Disorder is one of the most common developmental disabilities
In Ontario, there is an estimated 100 000 individuals with ASD

Area of Impairment

The student:

Social Skills
- demonstrates difficulties interacting with peers and adults
- has difficulty reading and understanding social cues and situations
- withdraws from or provides unusual responses in social situations
- engages in play that is lacking in the imaginative qualities of social play

Communication Skills
- has difficulty communicating thoughts and needs verbally and non-verbally
- has difficulty with non-verbal communication, such as use of gestures, pictures, eye
contact , and facial expressions
- uses speech that includes repetitive, echolalic, or unusual language

- displays obsession or preoccupations with specific themes or objects
- likes order and may line up toys repeatedly
- engages in unusual behaviour, such as rocking, spinning, or hand flapping
- gets extremely upset with changes in routine or schedules
- has an unusual response to loud noises or other sensory stimuli

Assistive technology for students with autism
http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/making a difference for students with autism

Social Supports
Receptive Language
• slow down the teaching pace
• use positive phrasing
• avoid analogies
• use visuals to enhance direction, whenever possible

Expressive Communication
• pause, listen and wait
• encourage input and choice
• provide alternative means (ie. written words or pictures to aid communication)
• respond to words rather than behaviour whenever possible
• role-play (demonstrate procedures)
• use boards (whiteboard/smartboard/etc.) to allow student to respond to group instruction

Supportive Strategies
practice specific skills through natural activities with another peer
facilitate recruitment of sociable peers to be classroom 'buddies'
structure activities with set interaction patterns and roles
provide cooperative learning activities with facilitation
provide opportunity for shared experiences using knowledge of students’ interests and strength
use of social stories to learn appropriate behaviour in social situations.

• setting clear behaviour and social expectations for all classroom
routines and lessons to enable students to participate appropriately
• identifying the big ideas for each lesson to help students determine what information is relevant during an instructional lesson
• using graphic organizers and providing guided notes
• differentiating assessment to allow students to show what they have learned in ways that are unique to their learning preferences

What Is Assistive Technology?
What are some Examples?
How does AT help students with Autism?
Examples of Assistive Technology in the Classroom:

(Imagery enhances comprehension!)
*Use photographic or pictorial images to assist with:
-Daily schedule (be sure that the student is present for any changes being made!)
-Requesting assistance (eg. Pictures to indicate needs, or emotions chart to express feelings)
-Keep classroom organized with visual cues and support
-Step-by-step instructions (with images) to help stay on track or learn new skills

-Focus on topics of personal interest for projects and prompting questions
-Allow for individual activities (limiting group work)
-Scaffold learning questions to assist with comprehension
-Provide a means for sensory supports and stimulation – weighted vest, fidget toy, inflated chair cushion, etc…
-Use repetition to learn skills
-Keep themes of the lesson consistent with the rest of the class
-Give extra time
-Use hands-on activities
-Break down projects into shorter tasks to reduce frustration
-Provide earphones to reduce noise stimuli

-Use visual supports to assist with requesting assistance (eg. Pictures to indicate needs)
-Provide videotaped modeling of life skills in their natural environment (eg. Dressing, buying groceries…)
-Interpret echolalia (repeating words or phrases, delayed or immediate) as processing information and sometimes as attempts to communicate needs
-Praise oral language and communication by accepting limited verbal attempts and non-verbal behavior as communication

*IEPs usually have goals to assist with communication, social interaction, stereotypic behaviours, and sometimes imaginative creativity, as well as functional skills.
References (re: Accommotions, Strategies & Interventions)
Carnahan, Christina R., Pamela S. Williamson, and Jennifer Christman. 2011. Linking cognition and literacy in students with autism spectrum disorder. Teaching Exceptional Children 43, (6) (Jul): 54-62, http://search.proquest.com/docview/875636294?accountid=15115 (accessed June 8, 2014).

Carothers, Douglas., Taylor, Ronald. (2004). How Teachers and Parents Can Work Together To Teach Daily Living Skills to Children with Autism. Focus on Autism and Other Development Disabilities. 19,(2): 102-104, http://search.proquest.com.proxy1.lib.uwo.ca/education/docview/205062134/fulltextPDF/81D082E3FDC24AC0PQ/17?accountid=15115. (retrieved on June, 6, 2014)

Friedlander, Diana. 2009. Sam comes to school: Including students with autism in your classroom. The Clearing House82, (3) (Jan): 141-144, http://search.proquest.com/docview/196845141?accountid=15115 (accessed June 4, 2014).
Hutchinson, Nancy Lynn. (2012) Inclusive Classrooms in Ontario Schools. Teaching Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Pearson Canada Inc., Toronto, ON. Pg. 88-92

KEMPE, ANDY, and CATHY TISSOT. 2012. The Use of Drama To Teach Social Skills in a Special School Setting for Students with Autism. Support for Learning 27, (3) (08): 97-102, http://search.proquest.com/docview/1040802384?accountid=15115 (accessed June 8, 2014).

Ryan, Joseph B; Hughes, Elizabeth M; Katsiyannis, Antonis; McDaniel, Melanie; Sprinkle, Cynthia. (Jan/Feb 2011) Research-Based
Educational Practices for Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders. Teaching Exceptional Children [Available Online]: http://search.proquest.com.proxy1.lib.uwo.ca/docview/846788055/CB1204CF61B14A19PQ/16?accountid=15115

Effective Educational Practices for students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. (2007). Retrieved June 23, 2014, from http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/general/elemsec/speced/asdfirst.pdf.

Kinnealey, Moya, Beth Pfeiffer, Jennifer Miller, Cecilia Roan, Rachel Shoener, and Matt L. Ellner. 2012. Effect of classroom modification on attention and engagement of students with autism or dyspraxia. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy 66, (5) (Sep): 511-9, http://search.proquest.com/docview/1038404006?accountid=
15115 (accessed June 18, 2014).
Leach, D., & Duffy, M. 2009. Supporting students with autism spectrum disorders in inclusive settings. Intervention in School and Clinic, 45(1), 31-37. doi:10.1177/1053451209338395
*Individualize accommodations to each student’s needs – ASD symptoms can vary widely!
Visual Supports:
Task accommodations:
Mid-to-Low-Functioning ASD:
Educating Children about Autism in an Inclusive Classroom (http://www.gov.pe.ca/photos/original/ed_autisminc.pdf)
Wagner, S. (1999). Inclusive Programming For Elementary Students with Autism. Arlington, TX: Future Horizons, Inc.
Case Study

George’s teacher and support staff utilizes effective approaches and strategies to facilitate the behaviour, language and communication skills of children with Autism.

It is imperative that Principals have a trusting relationship and an open communication with their staff. George’s teacher needs to be able to express her concerns to the Principal and receive appropriate support to deal with the issues surrounding behaviour and learning in her classroom.

School and the home share responsibility for children's learning. Frequent and positive communication between George’s parents and the teacher is the most effective way of promoting his success.

Desired Outcomes

He has a keen eye for detail and is a visual learner.
He is naturally curious.
George excels in math. He solves answers in his head and grasps concepts quickly.
George does participate in class, however, does so by speaking out without raising his hand.

George’s aggressive behaviour (resulting in frustration and being upset by his parent’s divorce) is escalating and becoming a barrier to his learning and the learning of other students in the class.
He often gets fixated and needs to finish his entire sentence without being interrupted.
George has difficulty with social interaction. He does not pick up on non-verbal cues and rarely makes eye contact.
He often prefers to work alone rather than in groups of any size.
He is easily irritated and becomes angry quickly without being provoked.
He is easily distracted by stimuli and barely responds to the teacher when prompted.

Supports and Strategies to Meet George’s Needs
Ways to Reach the Desired Outcomes
George's Strengths
George's Needs
What are some strategies or techniques that the teacher can employ to manage George’s behaviour and motivate his learning
George struggles with a range of behavior that is a barrier to his learning, specifically: aggressive behavior, stimuli distraction, difficulty engaging him in activities, impulsivity and difficulty effectively communicating with peers.

• scheduling calming-down times or exercise breaks before
difficult situations

• alternating more difficult and demanding tasks with those that
are easier and more enjoyable

• providing visual supports to clarify instructions when introducing new concepts and skills

• using social stories to teach appropriate behaviour for situations that are a continual problem

• be aware of any hypersensitivities to sensory stimuli the student might have, and remove anything that might overload the students senses, and then include experience during the day that are calming to his senses.

• making changes in physical arrangements, such as seating

• providing a clear and predictable schedule

By incorporating differentiation strategies such as visual aids, structured teaching, and tiered assignments, a teacher can help to set up a child with autism for success in the classroom socially, behaviourally and academically.

Open communication and a willingness to offer support should be one of the priorities of principals as it allows them to be aware of what is going on in classrooms, to improve student learning and student safety.

A collaborative partnership between home and school is developed through regular, frequent opportunities for discussions about the student's unique learning needs, evidence of progress, and any adjustments to the educational program that may need to be considered. It is important for teacher to meet the parents before the school year begins, and to establish methods and patterns of communication for which there is mutual agreement.
According to the Education Act section (265. 1a), “It is the duty of a principal to maintain proper order and discipline in the school and to develop co-operation and co-ordination among the members of staff of the school.”

The Principal must acknowledge the teacher’s concerns especially because they are ongoing and he should come up with a plan with the teacher to find solutions on how to best support George. The principal also must have meaningful dialogue with the teacher to come up with a proper solution to deal with the student.

Ontario Code: “principals, under the direction of their school board, take a leadership role in the daily operation of a school. They provide this leadership by demonstrating care and commitment to academic excellence and a safe teaching and learning environment and also communicating regularly and meaningfully with all members of their school community.”

Duty of the Administration
Re-establishing the relationship with the parents:

-Directly address the impact of the divorce on George -- The parents may not fully realize that this specific issue has exaggerated his difficulties at school.
-Remember that parents going through a divorce are usually under a great degree of personal, emotion, logistical and financial stress. They may also be too overwhelmed to know what to do or feel able to make solid, regular communication, but:
-Send a clear, positive message that the school is available to support and not judge can make an enormous difference in the parents’ commitment to communication.
-Present a very positive attitude and flexibility regarding scheduling.
*There are free counseling services available to families and children as well, and once a positive connection has been established with the parents, the teacher and admin and more comfortably mention or suggest these services.

Other support personnel available in the school:

- Special Education Resource Teacher (SERT) - may have time and space for George to complete tasks or assessments away from the class. In doing so, the SERT might also be able to assist George in working through some of the difficulties he is experiencing in the classroom.

-Child and Youth Worker (CYW) - might have a lot of behavioural advice for the teacher or counselling abilities with the student, that can be sought after on a more spontaneous basis.

*The more positive relationships that a struggling student has in the school, the better.

*As a last resort, if the teacher truly feels unsupported and has exhausted all options, he or she can also consult the teacher’s union (ETFO) for further direction. This does not necessarily need to become a confrontational conversation with the principal involved, but ETFO can counsel the teacher as to next steps, and can also act as a mediator to manage a situation and clarify roles and responsibilities.
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