AUTISMNatasa StolevskiColleen Victor Tristin Fisher
DIAGNOSIS- must be made before age 3- based on behavior- at least 6 symptoms total - at least 2 impairments in social interaction - at least 1 impairment in communication - at least 1 symptom of restricted and repetitive behavior- exact mechanism of disease is unknown - alters how neurons and synapses are organized and connected- highly variable- steady course without remission- one of the ﬁve Pervasive Developmental Disorders- Asperger syndrome is closely related, but without substantialdelay in language
Biological Factors• explained by either rare mutations or by rare combinations of common gene variations• prevalence: 1-2 per 1000 people worldwide• strongly associated with agents that cause birth defects• controversial environmental causes• brains of autistic children tend to grow faster just after birth, then slow down to normal or below growth in childhood
Many Theories• empathizing-systemizing theory: can develop internal rules of operation to handle events inside the brain, but are less eﬀective at empathizing by handling other events• theory of mind approach: autistic behavior arises from an inability to ascribe mental states to oneself and others• executive dysfunction theory: autistic behavior results from deﬁcits in working memory, planning, inhibition, and other forms of executive function• weak central coherence theory: central disturbance in autism is underlied by a limited ability to see the big picture
Social Development• social impairments, lack intuition to understand others• infants show less attention to social stimuli, do not smile or look at others as often, and do not respond as much to their name• toddlers do not express themselves with normal simple movements, like pointing• older children and adults perform worse on tests of face and emotion recognition• more intense and frequent loneliness• diﬃcult to make and keep friendships
Communication• 1/3 to 1/2 of individuals do not develop enough speech to meet daily needs• unusual pattern of language development in infants• echolalia: simply repeat others’ words instead of using their own• deﬁcits in joint attention aﬀect speech • ex. look at hand instead of object it points to• diﬃculty with imaginative play and developing symbols into language• people are likely to overestimate what individuals with autism can comprehend
Repetitive Behavior• stereotypy: repetitive movement • hand ﬂapping, making sounds, head rolling, body rocking• compulsive behavior: intended and follows rules • arranging objects in lines• sameness: resistance to change • refusing to be interrupted
Repetitive Behavior• ritualistic behavior: unvarying pattern of daily activities • dressing rituals• restricted behavior: limited in focus, interest or activity • preoccupation with a TV show• self-injury: movements that injure or harm the person • eye poking, skin picking, hand biting, head banging
Other Symptoms• 0.5-10% show unusual abilities: superior skills in perception and attention• over 90% have sensory abnormalities, such as distress from loud noises• 60-80% have motor signs (poor muscle tone, toe walking)• 75% have unusual eating behavior (selectivity, refusal, rituals)
Familial Symptoms• parents have higher levels of stress• siblings have greater admiration of and less conﬂict with their siblings when compared to those with unaﬀected siblings• but, siblings have a greater risk of negative well-being and poorer sibling relationships as adults
People with autism face many issues...People with autism face many issues, involvingproblems, on a day to day basisThey may ﬁnd it diﬃcult to communicate withother people or to socialize with them, and theymay have additional conditions, such as epilepsy,which bring their own issues.They may simply feel frustrated at trying to copewith other people’s ignorance and prejudice aboutautism and what it actually means.
PrejudiceMany people believe that people with autism are: mentally retarded unsafe stupid mean These are NOT true!!!
DiscriminationAbused in classroomsCalled namesHarassedBulliedExcludedForced intosterilization
Integrating into SocietyMost people on the autism spectrum ﬁnd it hardto integrate into society. for example, they maystruggle to : Find of keep a job Run a home by themselves Begin or maintain a relationship Communicate eﬀectively
Americans with Disabilities ActMeant to protect the disabled - and the unique problems presented by the increasingnumber of those on the autism spectrum,Helps people with autism thrive and feel accepted as part of society, rather than besubjected to blanket discrimination and exclusion stemming from widespread ignorance.Three fundamental areas in which progress must be made are: Education - Students with autism are entitled to appropriate instruction. Teachers do not have adequate training to teach these students and many of them are marginalized by school systems. Healthcare - The insurance industry must end its ﬁnancial discrimination against these families, by allowing GI and other medical treatment to be covered rather than excluded. Government Assistance Programs- Most communities oﬀer few or no services as autistic children become young adults. Governments should create programs aimed at helping young adults with job training, special living situations, and general help so these individuals can become productive, independent members of society.
What can YOU do...Urge and promote awareness,education and sensitivity.Individuals with autism can neverfulﬁll their maximum potential ifthey are excluded and ignored.Society must re-evaluate itsperception and treatment ofindividuals on the autism spectrum,and provide them with the samerespect, services and opportunitiesgiven to everyone else.
Advocacy PlanApril 2ndWorld Autism Awareness DayRaise awareness, encourage early diagnosis andinterventionLight it up blue http://lightitupblue.org/Markslist/home.do
AdvocacySupporting Michigan legislationMarch 29, 2012Insurance companies oﬀer coverage for autism treatments: Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA): behavior therapy that’s the evidence-based treatment of choice Occupational therapy (OT): sensory based interventions and speech therapyThey want coverage for more intensive and costly behavioraltherapies for autism
Bullying CampaignSet up a bullying campaign at a local schoolWeekly meetings with kids with Autism and kids w/odisabilitiesFree PizzaTeach peers to advocate for kids with Autism. “Peersupport group”
Activities for Kids with AutismThere are many social skills activities for kids with autism that parents and caregivers candevelop on their own. They can cater activities to suit the childs speciﬁc needs andinterests. Games and stories are excellent selections, and it isnt always necessary topurchase special activities. Some great ideas to consider include the following: Relational Activities Peek-a-boo, Facial Expressions Songs and Poems Art Activities Sensory Integration Activities Playgrounds, Textured Blocks, Running Games Everyday Activities Model Appropriate Behavior
Activity: Fill in the Blank!! Teens with ASD may...Follow certain _________, such as taking the same route toclassHave a hard time ______ with everyday challengesNot able to make ______ ______Become overwhelmed by _______ thingsMay ______ too close while talkingNot able to interpret _____ expressionsMay make _________ comments
How can I be a friend?_____ their diﬀerences_____ in a manner that’s ageappropriate.Be _____ and give extra time ifneeded_____ your friend from bulliesJoin activities ____ like____ others about autism and howto accept it