PreviewAutismDefinitionsPrevalencesigns and symptomsassessments and diagnosistreatments and supports
Classical Autism● also known as autistic disorder● the most common condition of autism spectrum disorders● neurological and developmental disability● affects communication and social interactions as well as behavior and senses.
DefinitionsEducational Definition (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, orIDEA 2004)Autism is a developmental disability that significantly affects verbal andnonverbal communication and social interaction. It is generally evident beforeage 3 and adversely affects a childs educational performance. Othercharacteristics often associated with autism include engagement in repetitiveactivities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change orchange in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences.
DSM-IV (DSM-4) criteria for a diagnosis of autismI. A total of six (or more) items from heading (A), (B) and (C) with at least two from (A) and one each from (B) and (C):(A) Qualitative impairment in social interaction as manifested by at least two of the following:Marked impairments in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body posture andgestures to regulate social interaction.Failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level.A lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests or achievements with other people, (e.g. a lack of showing, bringingor pointing out objects of interest to other people).A lack of social or emotional reciprocity.(B) Qualitative impairments in communication as manifested by at least one of the following:Delay in or total lack of the development of spoken language (not accompanied by an attempt to compensate through alternativemodes of communication such as gesture or mime).In individuals with adequate speech, marked impairment in the ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others.Stereotyped and repetitive use of language or idiosyncratic language.Lack of varied, spontaneous make-believe play or social imitative play appropriate to developmental level.(C) Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and activities as manifested by at least two of thefollowing:Encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity orfocusApparently inflexible adherence to specific nonfunctional routines or ritualsStereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g. hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex whole-body movements)Persistent preoccupation with parts of objectsII. Delays or abnormal functioning in at least one of the following areas, with onset prior to age 3 years:(A) Social interaction(B) Language used in social communication(C) Symbolic or imaginative play
Prevalence● 1 in 88 and on the rise● 4 times more prevalent in boys than girls● fastest growing disability● about 1.5 million Americans have some form of ASD● lifestyle, education, income, race, or ethnicity do not seem to be factors
Etiology● no one knows why● researchers are studying genetics and environmental toxins● no one case of autism is the same● no one cause of autism is the same
signs and symptomsA person with an ASD might: ● Not respond to their name by 12 months of age ● Not point at objects to show interest by 14 months ● Not play "pretend" games by 18 months ● Avoid eye contact and want to be alone ● Have trouble understanding other peoples feelings or talking about their own feelings ● Have delayed speech and language skills ● Repeat words or phrases over and over (echolalia) ● Give unrelated answers to questions ● Get upset by minor changes ● Have obsessive interests ● Flap their hands, rock their body, or spin in circles ● Have unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/signs.html
diagnosis, screening, and evaluationdiagnosis● two step process: screening and comprehensive evaluationstandardized screening instruments● behavioral observation using a standardized diagnostic scale● Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (CHAT)● Screening Tool for Autism in Two-Year-Olds (STAT)comprehensive diagnostic evaluation● Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS)● Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R)● Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS)
Behavioral ImplicationsSome children and adults diagnosed withautism may have difficulties in the followingbehavioral areas:● self-stimulatory behaviors● oppositional behavior● hyperactivity● aggression● temper tantrums● self-injury● destructiveness● obsessive compulsive behaviors● rituals and routines
Medical Implicationshypersensitive or hyposensitive● auditory stimuli● movement● pain● visual stimulistress and anxietyADD, ADHDepilepsysome individuals with autism may take medication
Treatment or Cure● no cure● studies have shown that early and intensive therapy and interventions may improve symptoms of ASDTeam InterventionsDevelopmental Pediatrician Applied Behavior AnalysisChild Psychiatrist Speech and Language TherapyBoard Certified Behavior Analyst Treatment and Education of Autistic and Related Communication Handicapped ChildrenChild Psychologist (TEACCH)Special or General Education Teacher Picture Exchange Communication SystemsOccupational Therapist (PECS)Physical Therapist Occupational TherapySpeech/Language Therapist Physical TherapySocial WorkerNeuropsychologist
supportswhen working with a person who has autism:● provide visuals● written or picture lists of materials● reinforcement token board● written or picture schedule● map of the school or other buildings● model assignments● list, model, and teach behavioral expectations● prepare for change● practice change in routine● be sure to get individuals attention before talking● be short and to the point● use dos instead of donts
lifetime supportautism is a lifetime disability Support Interventions Professional Team