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Autism Spectrum Disorder
Transcript of Autism Spectrum Disorder
What is ASD?
a Prezi by John Parente
Autism is a developmental disability
that generally appears during the first three years of life.
It is the result of a neurological disorder and the functioning of the brain is affected.
"Autism Spectrum Disorder is one of the most common developmental disabilities. Based on recent studies by Canadian researchers, the prevalence rate of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is 1 in 94*. In Ontario, there is an estimated 100,000 individuals with ASD. Yet most of the public, including many professionals in the medical, educational, and vocational fields, are still unaware of how autism affects people and how they can effectively work with individuals with autism." (Autism Ontario)
* See www.nedsac.ca for more information
Current research links autism to biological or neurological differences in the brain.
In many families there appears to be a pattern of autism or related disabilities although at this time no gene has been directly linked to autism.
The genetic basis is believed by researchers to be highly complex, probably involving several genes in combination.
Autism is not a mental illness.
Children with autism are not kids who misbehave.
Autism is not caused by bad parenting.
There are no known psychological factors in the development of the child that have been shown to cause autism.
Individuals who fall under the Autism Spectrum Disorder category exhibit commonalities in communication and social deficits.
The difference between them is in terms of severity, number of symptoms or age of onset.
...impairments in social interaction, communication,
and imaginative play prior to age 3 years.
Stereotyped behaviours, interests and activities.
...impairments in social interactions and the presence of restricted interests and activities, with no clinically significant general delay in language, and testing in the range of average to above average intelligence.
Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
...characterized by normal development for at least the first 2 years, followed by significant loss of previously acquired skills.
...a progressive disorder which, to date, has occurred only in girls.
There is a period of normal development and then loss of previously acquired skills.
(I.E. loss of purposeful use of the hands replaced with repetitive hand movements beginning at the age of 1-4 years)
Pervasive Developmental Disorder -
Not Otherwise Specified
(commonly referred to as atypical autism) a diagnosis of PDD may be made when a child does not meet the criteria for a specific diagnosis, but there is a severe impairment in specified behaviours.
There is no standard person with autism.
Whatever the diagnosis, children can learn and function productively and show gains from appropriate education and treatment.
Children within the ASD often appear relatively normal in their development until the age of 24-30 months, when parents may notice delays in language, play or social interaction.
Any of the following delays, by themselves, would not result in a diagnosis of an ASD.
Autism is a combination of several developmental challenges.
The following areas are among those that may be affected by autism...
language develops slowly or not at all;
uses words without attaching the usual meaning to them;
communicates with gestures instead of words;
short attention span;
spends time alone rather than with others; shows little interest in making friends;
less responsive to social cues such as eye contact or smiles;
may have sensitivities in the areas of sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste to a greater or lesser degree;
lack of spontaneous or imaginative play;
may not imitate others' actions;
may not initiate pretend games;
may be overactive or very passive;
throws tantrums for no apparent reason;
may show an obsessive interest in a single item, idea, activity or person;
apparent lack of common sense;
may show aggression to others or self;
often has difficulty with changes in routine.
Some individuals with autism may also have other disorders which affect the functioning of the brain.
Every person with autism is an individual, and like all individuals, has a unique personality and combination of characteristics.
There are great differences among people with autism.
Ongoing communication with the parents, the in-school team, the SRT, and any other supports involved is essential.
Productive programming and consistency in strategies at home and at school will go hand in hand with effective communication.
It is important that families feel supported when dealing with this mysterious condition.
Evidence shows that early intervention results in dramatically positive outcomes for young children with autism.
While various pre-school models emphasize different program components, all share an emphasis on early, appropriate, and intensive educational interventions for young children.
Because of the spectrum nature of autism and the many behaviour combinations which can occur, no one approach is effective in alleviating symptoms of autism in all cases.
Various types of therapies are available, including (but not limited to) applied behaviour analysis, auditory integration training, dietary interventions, discrete trial teaching, medications, music therapy, occupational therapy, PECS, physical therapy, sensory integration, speech/language therapy, communication and social skills training and TEACCH.
- Visual approaches ***
- Provide precise, positive praise while the student is learning
- Use meaningful reinforcements
- Plan tasks at an appropriate level of difficulty
- Use age appropriate materials
- Break down oral instructions into small steps
- Pay attention to processing and pacing issues
- Use concrete materials and hands-on activities
- Use task analysis
- Use discrete trial methods
- Introduce familiar tasks in familiar environments when possible
- Organize teaching materials and situation to highlight what is important
- Encourage independent effort
- Direct and broaden fixations into useful activities
- Know the individual and maintain a list of strengths and interests
- Develop talent and interest areas
Strategies for Classroom Management
- Provide a structured, predictable classroom environment
- Provide a customized visual daily schedule
- Note aspects of the tasks and activities that create frustration
- Provide relaxation opportunities and areas
- Provide opportunities for meaningful contact with peers who have appropriate social behaviour
- Plan for transitions and prepare the student for change
Strategies for Communication Development
- Learning to listen
- Developing oral language comprehension
- Developing oral language expression
- Developing conversation skills
- Using alternative or augmentative communication systems
- Music therapy***
Strategies for Teaching Social Skills
- Using social stories
- Teaching key social rules
- Using cognitive picture rehearsal
- Using peer support
- Using social skills training groups
- Teaching self-monitoring/managing skills
- Supporting the development of friendships
Teaching Functional Skills
- Functional academics
- Vocational skills
- Leisure skills
- Community skills
Managing Challenging Behaviour
1. Identify the problem behaviour
2. Identify the function of the behaviour and contributing factors
3. Identify an alternative behaviour
4. Develop strategies for changing behaviour
- Environment adaptations
- Positive programming interventions
- Reactive or consequence based interventions
5. Develop the behaviour intervention plan
6. Evaluating the behaviour intervention plan
ASD An Overview (2013). Autism Ontario.
Retrieved June 20, 2013, from <http://www.autismontario.com/Client/ASO/ao.nsf/web/ASD+An+Overview>
This website provides a brief overview of the subject of ASD. There are many links to supports and resources, as well as links to Chapters throughout the Province of Ontario that are run by volunteers.
Bice, M. (Photographer). (2007). Early sign of autism- hand flapping
[Web Video]. Retrieved June 20, 2013, from
This video shows a child with ASD flapping their hands due to the stimulation caused by the video they are watching. There are many other videos by this user that show other early signs of autism. This is useful for parents or educators who have never seen early signs first hand.
Bishop, B. (2002). My friend with autism. Future Horizons Inc.
This book is written for classmates of students with ASD and for the parents of classmates. It helps to explain how individuals with ASD are good at some things and struggle with others, just like everyone else. For me, this is about understanding our differences so that we can strive to have an inclusive environment in the classroom.
Elder, J., & Thomas, M. (2007). Different like me, my book of autism heroes. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
This book is wonderful for children with autism as it provides examples of extraordinary people throughout history who had a difficult time fitting in. It also helps teachers to understand the importance of a differentiated program for students with autism, as they may have specific interests and talents that should be celebrated and focused on.
Erskine, K. (2011). Mockingbird. Puffin.
This young adult novel is about a girl named Caitlin who has
Asperger’s syndrome. When Caitlin’s brother dies in a school shooting, she has trouble coping as she views things very black and white. She determines that the only way she can deal with this catastrophe is to find “closure,” a term she learned about on a news report. This book is useful in understanding that many individuals with autism need instructions and strategies described in very strict terms.
Facts and Stats (2013). Autism Speaks Canada. Retrieved June 20, 2013, from <http://www.autismspeaks.ca/about-autism/facts-and-stats>
This link has up-to-date facts and statistics regarding Autism. There are also links to family services, science, events, advocacy, news, and charitable opportunities in Canada.
Fridriksson, F. T. (Director) (2010). A mother's courage: Talking back to autism [DVD].
A documentary by Fridrik Thor Fridriksson tells the story of Margret, a mother who has done everything in her power to help her son. Keli is eleven years old has autism disorder. Margret meets other families and shares stories. This documentary shows how important social support an interaction is, not only for the individual with autism, but for their family as well.
Goodman, J. (Producer). (2010). Hope for autism through music
therapy [Web Video]. Retrieved June 20, 2013, from < http://www.*youtube.com/watch?v=OFLJJlOCVsw>
Not only does Jennifer Goodman use music to engage children with Autism, she also helps teach non-verbal children ways to communicate verbally. By using music and movement to help teach the children, she is able to bypass parts of the brain that would not work on their own for communication purposes.
Kluth, P., & Schwarz, P. (2008). “Just give him the whale!”: 20 ways to use fascinations, areas of expertise, and strengths to support students with autism. Paul H Brookes Publishing Company.
This book provides easy tips and strategies for teachers to learn how to incorporate student fascinations into their schoolwork. This resource is wonderfully written by autism experts who make differentiation strategies accessible to everyday teachers. I am happy to see that a student-centred approach is even more beneficial to children with autism, as I already knew that it was very beneficial to all students.
Kluth, P., & Schwarz, P. (2010). Pedro's whale. Paul H Brookes Publishing Company.
This book helps educators understand the importance of differentiating based on interest, especially for children with ASD. A boy named Pedro is broken hearted when he has to leave his toy whale behind for his first day of school. Once his teacher lets him keep his whale with him, she is able to start integrating whales into all of the curriculum areas in order to engage Pedro and it helps him build friendships.
Myfairmaiden910. (Photographer). (2009). Teaching Students with Autism [Web Video]. Retrieved June 20, 2013, from <http://www.*youtube.com/watch?v=APY2akeZPLk>
This video provides ten tips to help students with autism succeed.
1. Communication is critical.
2. Maintain a high degree of structure.
3. Incorporate the use of visuals whenever possible.
4. Prepare for changes in advance.
5. Consider the environment (consistency).
6. Consider the environment (sense stimulation).
7. Teach interaction skills.
8. Teach skills in their natural settings.
9. Structure for success.
10. Remember that each student is unique.
These tips help support other research that I have done on strategies for children with ASD.
Sabin, E. (2006). The autism acceptance book, being a friend to someone with autism. (1st ed.). New York, NY: Watering Can Press.
This book is an autism activity book that is extremely useful in the classroom. It helps children imagine what it would be like to be have ASD, providing play based learning on an often mysterious topic.
SilverLiningMM. (Photographer). (2009). Using visuals to teach autistic students [Web Video]. Retrieved June 20, 2013, from <http://www.*youtube.com/watch?v=RO6dc7QSQb4>
This video shows how token boards, distraction-free photo flash cards, photo schedules and augmentative communication devices help students with autism to learn academic, communication and daily living skills. This is a useful resource for parents and educators as it shows different examples of visuals and strategies that are accessible.
Special Programs Branch (2010). Teaching students with autism. Retrieved from Ministry of Education website: http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/specialed/docs/autism.pdf
This government document outlines great strategies for children with ASD and provides Case Studies to allow for a greater situational understanding.
Tammet, D. (2007). Born on a blue day, inside the extraordinary mind of an autistic savant : A memoir. Free Press.
Daniel Tammet is both the author and the focus of this book. He is quite different from most people who have severe autistic disorders as he has savant syndrome. He sees numbers as shapes, colors, and textures, and he can perform extraordinary calculations in his head. Daniel can learn to speak new languages fluently, from scratch, in a week. In 2004, he memorized and recited more than 22,000 digits of pi, setting a record. This book gives us a peak into the extremely high-functioning spectrum of Autism that many are uninformed about due to its rarity.