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Autism 101
Autism 101
Autism 101
Autism 101
Autism 101
Autism 101
Autism 101
Autism 101
Autism 101
Autism 101
Autism 101
Autism 101
Autism 101
Autism 101
Autism 101
Autism 101
Autism 101
Autism 101
Autism 101
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Autism 101

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  • 1. Autism 101 Prepared by K. Woodhouse, Autism Coordinator Office of Special Houston ISD Education Services
  • 2. History of Autism Autism was first described in literature by Leo Kanner in 1943. He called the syndrome “early infantile autism.” Autism was also often misdiagnosed as childhood schizophrenia. Early psychologists hypothesized that children became autistic due to “cold and unnurturing” mothers. This theory was proven false in 1979. Prepared by K. Woodhouse, Autism Coordinator Office of Special Education Houston ISD Services
  • 3. Facts on Autism – What We Know So Far Autism: is a lifelong disability. is characterized by severe problems in 3 main areas: communication, behavior and social skills. is classified as a developmental disability. occurs mostly in males. The ratio is about 4:1. Prepared by K. Woodhouse, Autism Coordinator Office of Special Education Houston ISD Services
  • 4. Facts on Autism – What We Know So Far Autism: occurs in approximately 1 out of 250 births, and has a 10-17% annual growth rate. typically manifests around the ages of 18 months to 3 years. is found throughout the world in families of all racial, ethnic and social backgrounds. Prepared by K. Woodhouse, Autism Coordinator Office of Special Education Houston ISD Services
  • 5. Facts on Autism – What We Know So Far There is no cure, but lots of research is currently being done. There are lots of treatments, and from researched based evidence, educational treatment is the most effective. Autism remains throughout the individual’s lifetime, although with proper intervention symptoms can lesson. Prepared by K. Woodhouse, Autism Coordinator Office of Special Education Houston ISD Services
  • 6. Common Characteristics of Autism – Social Skills Deficits or differences in social skills are common with individuals with autism. They may exhibit the following: Lack of awareness of the existence or feelings of others. Severe impairment in the ability to relate to others. Aloof and distant from others. Appears not to listen when spoken to. Prepared by K. Woodhouse, Autism Coordinator Office of Special Education Houston ISD Services
  • 7. Common Characteristics of Autism – Social Skills (Continued) Fails to produce appropriate facial expressions to specific occasions. Avoids eye contact. Difficulty with changes in environment and routine. Does not seek opportunities to interact with others. Unwillingness and/or inability to engage in cooperative play. Prepared by K. Woodhouse, Autism Coordinator Office of Special Education Houston ISD Services
  • 8. Common Characteristics of Autism – Communication Skills Deficits or differences in communication skills are common with individuals with autism. They may exhibit the following: Difficulties in using and understanding both verbal and non-verbal language. Failure to initiate or sustain conversational interchange. Abnormalities in the pitch, stress, rate, rhythm, and intonation of speech. Prepared by K. Woodhouse, Autism Coordinator Office of Special Education Houston ISD Services
  • 9. Common Characteristics of Autism – Communication Skills (Continued) Poor receptive and expressive skills. May echo words (echolalic speech). May use screaming, crying, tantrums, aggression, or self-abuse as ways to communicate. Repeating words or phrases in place of normal, responsive language. Prepared by K. Woodhouse, Autism Coordinator Office of Special Education Houston ISD Services
  • 10. Common Characteristics of Autism – Behavior Skills Deficits or differences in behavior skills are common with individuals with autism. They may exhibit the following: Unusual and repetitive movements of the body that interfere with the ability to attend to tasks or activities, such as hand flapping, finger flicking, rocking, hand clapping, grimacing or eye gazing. Prepared by K. Woodhouse, Autism Coordinator Office of Special Education Houston ISD Services
  • 11. Common Characteristics of Autism – Behavior Skills (Continued) Marked distress over changes in seemingly trivial aspects of the environment. Laughing, crying, or showing distress for reasons not apparent to others. Unreasonable insistence on following routines in precise detail. Prepared by K. Woodhouse, Autism Coordinator Office of Special Education Houston ISD Services
  • 12. Other Common Characteristics of Autism Unresponsive to normal teaching methods. Acts as deaf. Apparent over- or under-sensitivity to pain. No fear of real danger. Uneven gross and fine motor skills. May not want to cuddle or be cuddled. Inappropriate attachment to objects. Noticeable physical over-activity or extreme under-activity. Prepared by K. Woodhouse, Autism Coordinator Office of Special Education Houston ISD Services
  • 13. Early Symptoms – Birth to 18 Months Feeding problems, such as poor nursing ability. Apathetic and unresponsive – showing little or no desire to be held or cuddled. Constant crying or unusual absence of crying. Disinterested in people and surroundings. Repetitive movements, such as hand shaking, prolonged rocking and spinning, head banging. Sleeping problems. Insistence on being left alone. Prepared by K. Woodhouse, Autism Coordinator Office of Special Education Houston ISD Services
  • 14. Early Symptoms – 18 Months to 3 Years Difficulties in toilet training. Odd eating habits and preferences. Late speech, no speech, or loss of previously acquired speech. Sleeping problems, such as requiring only a few hours of sleep each night. Prepared by K. Woodhouse, Autism Coordinator Office of Special Education Houston ISD Services
  • 15. Early Symptoms – Other Indications Does not have anticipatory response to be picked up. Seems to “tune out” a lot. Prolonged tantrums. Doesn’t play appropriately with toys. Seems to have a good memory. Fails to respond to the affection of others. Prepared by K. Woodhouse, Autism Coordinator Office of Special Education Houston ISD Services
  • 16. Early Symptoms – Other Indications May use an adult’s hand like a tool for accomplishing tasks. Does not spontaneously imitate the play of other children. Tendency to spend inordinate amounts of time doing nothing or pursuing ritualistic behaviors. Difficulty with changes in environment and routine. Does not seek opportunities for interaction with others. Prepared by K. Woodhouse, Autism Coordinator Office of Special Education Houston ISD Services
  • 17. Treatments and Educational Strategies Autism is not a disease. There is not a single treatment such as a drug or therapy program that will work for all individuals with autism. Treatment often comes in the form of individualized plans designed to meet all areas of need. Meeting the challenges of autism is better described as educational rather than treatment. No single program or service will fill the needs of everyone with autism. Strategies to help a person with autism should be part of a comprehensive plan. Prepared by K. Woodhouse, Autism Coordinator Houston ISD Office of Special Education Services
  • 18. Best Educational Practices for Children with Autism Educational practices should focus on the following: Communication skills Behavior Functional academics Self-help skills Gross and fine motor skills Social and leisure skills Vocational and independence Structure, routine and organization Prepared by K. Woodhouse, Autism Coordinator Office of Special Education Houston ISD Services
  • 19. References Autism Society of America (www.autism- society.org) Center for Autism and Related Disabilities/CARD (http://card- usf.fmhi.usf.edu) Lamar Consolidated Independent School District – Autism 101 (www.lcisd.org) Prepared by K. Woodhouse, Autism Coordinator Office of Special Education Houston ISD Services

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