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Annette Liekefett

on 26 January 2014

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Transcript of Autism

We may define a stereotype as being a particular belief regarding either a social group or even a particular “type” of individual. (http://examples.yourdictionary.com/stereotype-examples.html) Stereotypes are drawn from assumptions rather than fact and discrimination can evolve as a direct consequence.
Impactful assumptions created by media of Autistic individuals having particularly savant skills, can be seen in movies such as Mercury Rising (1998). Where Simon Lynch (Miko Hughes) is an autistic child with incredible code breaking skills. Or Rainman (1988) , where Raymond (Dustin Hoffman) has superb recall and is a mental calculator, who becomes distressed by change, follows strict routines and has a physical manifestation of the condition resulting in a lean to the right. Whilst perhaps some of these traits are present within autistic individuals, stereotyping all individuals with this disorder as having meltdowns/tantrums, severe anxiety, lack of emotions, the inability to live alone or hold a job is most certainly discriminative. Autism is a developmental spectrum disorder whereby each case is unique! Individuals have unique representations positioning them on the spectrum. Asperger’s Gestalt like assessment and description of Autism offers a convincing model of the way stereotypes may build as a result of its representations. (www.rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org-2009)
As a consequence of societies assumption built concept of Autism, we see discrimination in the form of social isolation being most prevalent. “Discrimination Against Autistic People” youtube clip focuses on isolation and illustrates how painful life can be as a direct result of society discriminating against people with Autism because they do not understand.
What is Autism ??
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong developmental disability that affects, among other things, the way an individual relates to his or her environment and their interaction with other people according to Autism Spectrum Australia - www.autismspectrum.org.au/

Meet Iris Grace……
Iris Grace Halmshaw is only 4
years old, still not talking but
paints the most extraordinary paintings. Many of Iris’s painting
are sold through her web site
http://irisgracepainting.com. Renowned film maker
Rupert Ward-Lewis filmed Iris Grace and her painting style. Iris Grace was diagnosed with Autism in December 2011.
Meet Jett Travolta……
At the age of 16 Jett Travolta, the son of John Travolta & Kelly Preston pass away. In 2012
Kelly advised that Jett suffered from Autism.
(Coughlan, M. 2012) The Jett Travolta foundation was established in 2009. (Schlenker. D. 2011)
Little can be found on Jett’s life however his legacy lives on through the Foundation.

Meet Stephen Wiltshire……
One of the least known artist Stephen Wiltshire suffers from autism. Stephen can view a city’s landscape once and draw the same landscape with the most intricate detail. He is one of the 10 per cent of autism sufferers who also have extraordinary abilities, such as powers of memory, mathematical calculation or musical and artistic talents. (Kirby, T. 2006).
A visit to Stephen’s website (http://www.stephenwiltshire.co.uk/) is sure to impress.

Meet Daryl Hannah……
I was a pretty out-of-it child, living mostly in an imaginary world, to the extent where they thought I had some form of autism said Daryl Hannah. Horkins (2009). In September 2013 Daryl publically announced that she had been diagnosed with Autism as a child. (Burtt, K 2013). With public life becoming increasingly difficult Daryl turned her back on her career and now lives a quieter life as an environmental activist. Daryl talks about her life in a You Tube video called One on One – Daryl Hannah.

Biomedical Therapy
Studies and clinical experience have shown that Children with Autism often have a restricted diet and poor bowel function, affecting their nutritional status, Studies reveal that our modern diet is depleted in key nutrients, all of which combine to affect brain function. (Duff, J. Nastasi, J. n.d)
See more information at: http://www.autism.net.au/#sthash.hXLld0Tx.dpuf

Expected key benefits of biomedical therapy:

*Improvements in immune function, resulting in much healthier children who seem to be very resistant to infections.
*Improvements in Bowel function.
*Improved appetite and a wider variety of foods accepted.
*Better socialization and initiation of communication.
*Improved cognitive function; improved vocabulary and sentence structure; improved higher order functions. (Duff, J. Nastasi, J.,n.d)

Speech Therapy

A person with autism may:
• Not talk at all
• Grunt, cry out or shriek
• Hum or talk in a musical way
• Babble
• Use foreign-sounding "words"
• Copy and repeat what another person says
• Use the right phrases and sentences (monotone) (Weintraub, A.2013)

Speech therapy techniques:
• Electronic "talkers"
• Learning Sign language
• Using picture boards with words
• Using sounds to which a person is over- or under-sensitive to expand and compress speech sounds
• Improving articulation of speech by massaging or exercising lips or facial muscles
• Having individuals sing songs composed to match the rhythm, stress, and flow of sentences
(Weintraub, A.2013)

There are two main therapies currently used as treatment for people with autism. They are Biomedical therapy and Speech therapy.
Autism Spectrum Australia estimates that 1 in 100 people have ASD; thats almost 230,000 Australians.
Autism in itself is still a jigsaw that needs to be pieced together by not only the medics, and the individuals families, but also by the wider community - the representation of the heart and the jigsaw within it symbolises the love of someone with Autism
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a diagnosed disorder that an individual is born with, it is not necessarily detected at birth. Although with the lack of benchmark achievements in an infant’s life, concerns would be raised as to why the child is not progressing at the same pace as his or her peers. This need for assessment in most cases can be detected by health professionals’ by the time the child is three years of age. Children with ASD are then professionally diagnosed by three independent specialist assessments, one each from a paediatrician, a psychologist and a speech pathologist. Although no single test can be undertaken to determine ASD or the level of ASD, the team of professionals assess the development and behaviour of the child to ascertain if ASD is present and to what extent. With varying levels of ASD it is possible that the disorder may not be recognised for assessment until they reach adolescents, when the lack of social skills may become quite prevalent and would then indicate that the before mentioned specialists need to assess the individual. Likewise with adults, it can only be assessed by a specialised team who are trained in the assessment and diagnosis of the disorder
Autism Spectrum Disorder is a
complex developmental behavioural
disorder. Within this presentation there
are four different information portals
which includes four different topics: those
being, diagnosis criteria and the process of
the diagnosis, how autism is stereotyped
and the discrimination people with
autism go through, famous
people with autism and the more
popular therapies to treat people
with autism.
Full transcript