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Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger's Syndrome
Asperger's Syndrome
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Asperger's Syndrome

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  • 1. A Teacher’s Guide to Asperger’s Syndrome Jessica Yamnitzky, Graduate Student University of Pittsburgh © 2007
  • 2. Today’s Goals: <ul><li>1. Define Asperger’s Syndrome </li></ul><ul><li>2. Identify common signs and treatment options of Asperger’s Syndrome </li></ul><ul><li>3. Outline ways to help a child with Asperger’s Syndrome in the classroom </li></ul>
  • 3. What do those words mean? <ul><li>Autism Spectrum Disorder: a brain development disorder commonly diagnosed before age 3, with impairments primarily in social interaction, communication and restrictive & repetitive behavior </li></ul><ul><li>DSM-IV: the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4 th edition) lists the different categories of mental disorders and the criteria for diagnosing them </li></ul><ul><li>Common names for Asperger’s Syndrome: AS, Asperger Syndrome, Asperger’s </li></ul>Asperger’s Syndrome. Retrieved September 22, 2007, from Autism Speaks website: http://www.autismspeaks.org/navigating/index.php
  • 4. Case Study <ul><li>See if you can list all of the “out of the ordinary things” that Mrs. Gale has noticed. </li></ul>When your list is complete, discuss what you found with 2-3 other people sitting around you. Did they find things that you didn’t? Did you notice something that they didn’t?
  • 5. What is Asperger’s Syndrome? <ul><li>An autism spectrum disorder that effects language and communication skills </li></ul><ul><li>Children with AS have trouble reading facial expressions and peoples’ gestures </li></ul><ul><li>They find it difficult to identify and express their feelings </li></ul><ul><li>They may also have a hard time connecting to other people, such as classmates </li></ul>Asperger Syndrome Fact Sheet. Retrieved September 22, 2007, from National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/asperger
  • 6. What is Asperger’s Syndrome? <ul><li>According to the DSM-IV-TR, Asperger’s Syndrome must fit the following criteria: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Qualitative impairment in reciprocal social interaction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Qualitative impairment in communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Restricted, repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities </li></ul></ul>
  • 7. Whom does Asperger’s Syndrome affect? <ul><li>Over 400,000 families are affected by Asperger’s Syndrome </li></ul><ul><li>It is estimated that 2 out of every 10,000 children have been diagnosed with the disorder </li></ul><ul><li>Asperger’s Syndrome affects boys more often than girls </li></ul><ul><li>AS is usually diagnosed between the ages of 5 and 9 </li></ul>Asperger Syndrome. Retrieved September 15, 2007, from KidsHealth website: http://www.kidshealth.org
  • 8. Common Signs of Asperger’s Syndrome <ul><li>Peculiar mannerisms such as odd speech patterns (they may sound like “little professors”) </li></ul><ul><li>Few facial expressions and difficulty reading others’ body language </li></ul><ul><li>Unusual sensitivity to light, sound, smell, taste and touch </li></ul><ul><li>Obsessions with a single topic such as music, dinosaurs, cars or the mechanics of a toaster </li></ul><ul><li>A need for routines, rituals and consistency (such as a familiar morning routine) </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of “common sense” and an inability to identify social cues </li></ul>
  • 9. What are some treatment options? <ul><li>Although there is no one particular treatment for AS, the most effective approaches are therapies that focus on: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Improving poor communication skills </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>obsessive or repetitive routines </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>physical clumsiness </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Other treatment options may include: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Education and training for parents </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Social skills training </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Language therapy </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Specialized help in school for the child </li></ul></ul></ul>Asperger Syndrome Fact Sheet. Retrieved September 22, 2007, from National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/asperger
  • 10. What are a student’s legal rights for special education? <ul><li>The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEIA) of 2004 covers children ages 3-21 who are diagnosed with any of the following: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mental retardation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hearing impairments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Visual impairments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Serious emotional disturbance </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Orthopedic impairments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Autism </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Traumatic brain injuries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other health impairments (such as ADD or ADHD) </li></ul></ul>
  • 11. What are a student’s legal rights for special education? <ul><li>To qualify for special education an evaluation must determine: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>that the child has one of the covered disabilities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>that the child needs special education or that the disability affects the education of the child </li></ul></ul>
  • 12. Biological factors <ul><li>There are no definitive research studies that point to a particular problem in the brain that can lead to autism or Asperger’s Syndrome </li></ul>Asperger Syndrome. Retrieved September 15, 2007, from KidsHealth website: http://www.kidshealth.org
  • 13. Family Factors <ul><li>Asperger’s Syndrome is not related to parenting practices or how a child is raised by his or her parents </li></ul>Asperger Syndrome. Retrieved September 15, 2007, from KidsHealth website: http://www.kidshealth.org
  • 14. Don’t try this at home (or school)! <ul><li>Don’t use humor, sarcasm or idioms without explaining what you mean </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t ignore the student’s complaints, no matter how menial they seem to you </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t randomly change the child’s schedule, routine or rituals without previous notice to the child </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t confront the child in a public setting </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t ignore or minimize the signs and symptoms … Ignoring negative behavior doesn’t make it go away! </li></ul>
  • 15. Now what? <ul><li>Now that you’ve figured out what not to do, let’s unpack those tools that will help you in your classroom … </li></ul>
  • 16. How do I help my students? <ul><li>There are 5 domains that need to be addressed. They include communication skills, social interaction skills, sensory skills, behavior skills and academic skills </li></ul>
  • 17. Communication Skills <ul><li>What does the problem look like? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Difficulty asking for help or figuring out what the task is </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Easily confused by complex directions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Talking at the same time as others </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Making statements that seem “out of the blue” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Saying things that seem disrespectful, inappropriate or argumentative </li></ul></ul>Asperger’s Syndrome. Retrieved September 22, 2007, from Asperger’s Trips website: http://www.aspergertips.com
  • 18. Communication Skills <ul><li>How do I help? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Break complex directions down into “smaller pieces” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Repeat instructions, being careful not to rephrase because the student may be processing your first request </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Make clear, precise statements </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explain sarcasm, metaphors, idioms and words with a double meaning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Help the student find a phrase or signal for when he or she does not understand directions </li></ul></ul>Asperger’s Syndrome. Retrieved September 22, 2007, from Asperger’s Trips website: http://www.aspergertips.com
  • 19. Social Interaction Skills <ul><li>What does the problem look like? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Inability to read facial cues or body language </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unable pick up on verbal and non-verbal social cues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Difficulty making small talk or conversation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Trouble understanding emotions of themselves and others </li></ul></ul>Asperger’s Syndrome. Retrieved September 22, 2007, from Asperger’s Trips website: http://www.aspergertips.com
  • 20. Social Interaction Skills <ul><li>How do I help? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Protect the student from bullying and teasing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Pair the student with a buddy who can act as a “social mentor” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Know the difference when he is isolated by choice and when he is isolated because peers won’t include him </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explain Asperger’s Syndrome to classmates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Help the student understand the use of humor </li></ul></ul>Asperger’s Syndrome. Retrieved September 22, 2007, from Asperger’s Trips website: http://www.aspergertips.com
  • 21. Sensory Skills <ul><li>What does the problem look like? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased sensitivity to sound, light, taste, touch and smell </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A student with AS is prone to notice the tapping of a pencil or the humming of the overhead fluorescent light </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sensitivities may make her anxious, stressed or over-react </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Difficulty staying focused because of sensitivities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The need to deal with the sensitivity quickly because she may get overwhelmed and over-react </li></ul></ul>Asperger’s Syndrome. Retrieved September 22, 2007, from Asperger’s Trips website: http://www.aspergertips.com
  • 22. Sensory Skills <ul><li>How do I help? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Predict sensory/environmental changes and make the student aware of them before they occur, giving him or her a chance to prepare and adjust </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide a personal, quiet space for the student to relax and collect his or her thoughts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allow the student to have a calming item to use when experiencing sensory issues (i.e. a stress ball, worry rock, etc) </li></ul></ul>Asperger’s Syndrome. Retrieved September 22, 2007, from Asperger’s Trips website: http://www.aspergertips.com
  • 23. Behavior Skills <ul><li>What does the problem look like? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Egocentric </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Easily annoyed, agitated and impatient </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tendency to state exactly what is on his mind </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mood swings – withdrawn and unable to engage at times, and hyper at other times </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A perfectionist – really hard on himself or others when a mistake is made </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inclination to get “stuck” thinking about a problem or special interest </li></ul></ul>Asperger’s Syndrome. Retrieved September 22, 2007, from Asperger’s Trips website: http://www.aspergertips.com
  • 24. Behavior Skills <ul><li>How do I help? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Model acceptance of the student for her peers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t take the student’s comments personally </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use the student’s special interest to engage her in conversation or class discussion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Be consistent and clear in your expectations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teach the student replacement behaviors for when she is frustrated, angry or anxious </li></ul></ul>Asperger’s Syndrome. Retrieved September 22, 2007, from Asperger’s Trips website: http://www.aspergertips.com
  • 25. Academic Skills <ul><li>What does the problem look like? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strong in concrete subjects such as math and science, while weak in abstract areas such as language arts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unable to find the “main idea”, because everything is important to him </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoiding a certain subject he is uncomfortable with or uncertain of </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Over-stimulated by lengthy activities </li></ul></ul>Asperger’s Syndrome. Retrieved September 22, 2007, from Asperger’s Trips website: http://www.aspergertips.com
  • 26. Academic Skills <ul><li>How do I help? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Be calm, matter-of-fact and predictable when teaching </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Give materials/directions orally and visually </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use concrete examples when teaching </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use predictable classroom routines, rules and expectations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide frequent, positive feedback </li></ul></ul>Asperger’s Syndrome. Retrieved September 22, 2007, from Asperger’s Trips website: http://www.aspergertips.com
  • 27. Case Study Part 2 <ul><li>Break into groups of 3-4. Each group will be assigned a learning domain. </li></ul><ul><li>Use only your assigned learning domain to analyze the case study, find the “issue” that pertains to your learning domain and write some ways that Mrs. Gale can effectively handle the situation based on the domains that were discussed. </li></ul>
  • 28. What can I do for parents? <ul><li>Check out the brochure and reading list in your study guide packet … they are great resources to pass along to parents who have a child with Asperger’s Syndrome! </li></ul>
  • 29. Where can I find more help in Pittsburgh? <ul><li>The Watson Institute </li></ul><ul><li>301 Camp Meeting Road </li></ul><ul><li>Sewickley, PA 15143 </li></ul><ul><li>(412) 741-1800 </li></ul><ul><li>www.thewatsoninstitute.org </li></ul><ul><li>Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic </li></ul><ul><li>3811 O’Hara Street </li></ul><ul><li>Pittsburgh, PA 15213 </li></ul><ul><li>(412)624-2000 </li></ul><ul><li>www.wpic.upmc.com </li></ul>
  • 30. Where can I find more help? <ul><li>MAAP Services for Autism, Asperger’s and PDD </li></ul><ul><li>P.O. Box 524 </li></ul><ul><li>Crown Point, IN 46308 </li></ul><ul><li>(219)662-1311 </li></ul><ul><li>www.maapservices.org </li></ul><ul><li>Autism Network International (ANI) </li></ul><ul><li>P.O. Box 35448 </li></ul><ul><li>Syracuse, NY 13235-5448 </li></ul><ul><li>http://ani.autistics.org </li></ul><ul><li>Autism Society of America </li></ul><ul><li>7910 Woodmont Avenue </li></ul><ul><li>Suite 300 </li></ul><ul><li>Bethesda, MD 20814-3067 </li></ul><ul><li>800-3AUTISM </li></ul><ul><li>www.autism-society.org </li></ul>
  • 31. Where can I find more information? <ul><li>www.mental-health-resources.com </li></ul><ul><li>www.autismhelp.info </li></ul><ul><li>www.aspergertips.com </li></ul><ul><li>www.aspergersyndrome.org </li></ul><ul><li>www.autism.org </li></ul><ul><li>www.specialfamilies.com </li></ul><ul><li>www.kidshealth.org </li></ul>
  • 32. References <ul><li>Asperger’s Syndrome. Retrieved September 22, 2007, from Autism Speaks website: http://www.autismspeaks.org/navigating/index.php </li></ul><ul><li>Asperger’s Syndrome. Retrieved September 22, 2007, from Asperger’s Trips website: http://www.aspergertips.com </li></ul><ul><li>Asperger Syndrome. Retrieved September 15, 2007, from KidsHealth website: http://www.kidshealth.org </li></ul><ul><li>Asperger Syndrome Fact Sheet. Retrieved September 22, 2007, from National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/asperger </li></ul><ul><li>Photos retrieved September 25, 2007, from Stock Exchange website: www.xsc.hu/ </li></ul><ul><li>What is Asperger’s Syndrome? Retrieved September 15, 2007, from Tony Attwood website: http://www.tonyattwood.com/au/ad.html </li></ul>
  • 33. For More Information Contact: <ul><li>Jessica Yamnitzky </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Graduate Student, University of Pittsburgh </li></ul><ul><li>School of Education </li></ul><ul><li>Applied Developmental Psychology </li></ul>

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