Hear Our Voices - Autism Defined


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Hear Our Voices - Autism Defined

  1. 1. Home About Us *WISH LIST* Mission & History Mailing List Contact Us Autism Defined Search Successes Posted on May 2, 2011 by skhov Video Recent Posts Therapies Autism is the most common situation in a group Autism Defined Early Intervention (EI) Program: Sponsor a Child of developmental disorders known as the autism Giving Toddlers a Strong Start Forum spectrum disorders (ASDs). Autism is characterized by July 6th, 2011 ICare4Autism Donate International Autism Conference impaired social interaction, problems with verbal and ICare4autism to Create World’s nonverbal communications, and unusual repetitive or First Global Autism Research and Education CenterCenter-based Programs severely limited activities and interests. Other ASDs Parent Training and AutismHome-based Programs include Asperger syndrome, Rett syndrome, childhood Workshops at SKHOV Training disintegrative disorder, and pervasive developmental Workshops Recent Comments disorder not otherwise specified (usually referred to as PDD-NOS). It is estimated that 1 in 150 children have Archives May 2011 Applied Behavior autism. Males are four times more likely to have Analysis autism than females. Categories What is Autism? Autism Autism in the News Conferences SKHOV News There are three distinguishing behaviors that Early Intervention Press Education typify autism. Children with autism have difficulties Kolainu Magazine SKHOV News with social interactions, problems with verbal and Special Education Workshops nonverbal communication, and repetitive behaviors or Books and Articles narrow, compulsive interests. These behaviors can Meta range in impact from mild to disabling. Log in Links Entries RSS Schools Comments RSS Conferences WordPress.org The characteristic trait of autism is impaired Social Media social interaction. Parents are usually the first to notice symptoms of autism in their child. As early as infancy, Send Us Feedback a baby with autism may be indifferent to people or focus fixedly on one item, to the exclusion of others, for long periods of time. A child with autism may appear to develop normally and then withdraw and become indifferent to social engagements. Children with autism may fail to respond to their name and often avoid eye contact with other people. They have difficulty interpreting what others are thinking or feeling because they can’t understand social cues, such as tone of voice or facial expressions; they don’t watch other people’s faces for clues about appropriate behavior. They lack understanding attentiveness. Many children with autism take on rhythmic and repetitive movements such as rocking and twirling, or are involved in self-abusive behavior such as biting and head-banging. They also tend to start speaking
  2. 2. later then other children and may refer to themselvesby name instead of “I” or “me.” Children with autismdon’t know how to play or interact with other children.Some speak in a sing-song voice about a narrowrange of favorite topics, with little regard for theinterests of the person to whom they are speaking. Many children with autism have a reducedsensitivity to pain, but are peculiarly sensitive tosound, touch, or other sensory stimulation. Theseunusual reactions may contribute to behavioralsymptoms such as resistance to being cuddled orhugged. Autism varies broadly in its severity andsymptoms and may go unrecognized, especially inmildly affected children or when it is shrouded by moreincapacitating handicaps. Doctors rely on a centralgroup of behaviors to alert them to the possibility of adiagnosis of autism. These behaviors include:impaired ability to make friends with peersimpaired ability to initiate or sustain a conversation withothersabsence or impairment of imaginative and social playstereotyped, repetitive, or unusual use of languagerestricted patterns of interest that are abnormal inintensity or focuspreoccupation with certain objects or subjectsinflexible adherence to specific routines or ritualsAutism is a multifaceted disorder. A comprehensiveevaluation requires a multidisciplinary team including apsychologist, neurologists, psychiatrist, speechtherapist, and other professionals who diagnosechildren with ASDs. The team members conduct athorough neurological assessment and in-depthcognitive and language testing. Because hearingproblems can cause behaviors that are sometimesmistaken for autism, children with delayed speechdevelopment should also have their hearing tested.After a thorough evaluation, the team usually meetswith parents to explain the results of the evaluationand present the diagnosis.Children with some symptoms of autism, but notenough to be diagnosed with classical autism areoften diagnosed with PDD-NOS. Children with autisticbehaviors but well-developed language skills are oftendiagnosed with Asperger syndrome. Children whodevelop normally and then suddenly deteriorate
  3. 3. between the ages of 3 to 10 years and show markedautistic behaviors may be diagnosed with childhooddisintegrative disorder. Girls with autistic symptomsmay be suffering from Rett syndrome, a sex-linkedgenetic disorder characterized by social withdrawal,regressed language skills, and hand wringing.Scientists aren’t certain what causes autism, but it’slikely that both genetics and environment play a role.Researchers have identified a number of genesassociated with the disorder. Studies of people withautism have found irregularities in several regions ofthe brain. Other studies suggest that people withautism have abnormal levels of serotonin and otherneurotransmitters in the brain. These abnormalitiessuggest that autism could result from the disruption ofnormal brain development early in the fetal stage,caused by defects in genes that control brain growthand regulate how neutrons communicate with eachother. While these findings are fascinating, they arepreliminary and require further study. The theory thatparental practices are responsible for autism has nowbeen disproved.Recent studies strongly suggest that some peoplehave a genetic predilection to autism. In families withone autistic child, the risk of having a second child withthe disorder is approximately 5 percent, or one in 20.This is greater than the risk for the general population.Researchers are looking for clues about which genescontribute to this increased vulnerability. In somecases, parents and other relatives of an autistic childshow mild impairments in social and communicativeskills or engage in repetitive behaviors. Evidence alsosuggests that some emotional disorders, such asmanic depression, occur more frequently than averagein the families of people with autism.For many children, autism symptoms improve withtreatment and with age. Some children with autismgrow up to lead normal or near-normal lives. Children,whose language skills degenerate early in life, usuallybefore the age of 3, appear to be at risk of developingother complications including epilepsy or seizure-likebrain activity.There is no cure for autism. Therapies and behavioralinterventions are designed to remedy specificsymptoms and can therefore, bring about substantialimprovement. The ideal treatment plan coordinatestherapies and interventions that target the core
  4. 4. symptoms of autism: impaired social interaction,problems with verbal and nonverbal communication,and obsessive or repetitive routines and interests.Most professionals agree that the earlier thatintervention occurs, the better the child’s chances forsuccessful skill development.Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is the underlyingeducational approach at Shema Kolainu – “Hear OurVoices” (SK-HOV), which entails the comprehensiveuse of the principles of human learning theory toenhance the development, abilities and self-directionskills of children and adults. Thanks to the field ofABA, children with autism have been able to makegreater strides than anyone might have imagined justa few decades ago!Each program in SK-HOV has been developed toaddress skill variations and multiple levels offunctioning. In addition to the broad spectrum ofservices for children, we provide support to families inthe techniques of ABA to help their child generalizethe learning acquired in school or day programs.Teaching methods we use involve a variety ofstrategies and formats developed within the field ofapplied behavior analysis, such as discrete trials,verbal behaviors and incidental learning.Behavior analysts supervise and observe all staff on aregular basis regarding the manner andimplementation of interventions across all services.Shema Kolainu is committed to furthering theunderstanding and treatment of autism spectrumdisorders by keeping abreast of recent researchfindings and developing evidence-based practices. Itoffers hope to children and their families where noneexisted, so that one day many of these children canhave the opportunity to overcome autism.