What is Autism? Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder Rose Quiqly Robin Henderson Social Worker Special Education TeacherRhode Island School for the Deaf Rhode Island School for the Deaf firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Agenda☞Why are we here?☞What is Autism?☞Triad of Symptoms☞Activity☞Next Steps
Presentation Goals• Faculty will gain a better understanding of the characteristics of ASD and its implication to our students at RISD. • DDA2.K2: Core associated characteristics of developmental disabilities/autism spectrum disorders.• Faculty will be able to distinguish typically generated myths of ASD and understand the facts of ASD. • DDA5.S5: Utilize students strenghts to rienforce and maintain social skills• Faculty will recieve a list of resources for access to further information after the Professional Development. • DDA7.S4: Plan systematic instruction based on learner characteristics, interests and ongoing assessment.
What brought us here?• ASD Cohort Training and Coursework• Goals of the Cohort• District Needs Assessment
What this means for RISD? • Increasing awareness • Sharing knowledge • Building Skills
Ask Questions.. Please ask questions during the presentation. It is important to share our ideas and concerns.
Keep an open mind• Strategies and discussions may apply to students who are not diagnosed with ASD.
Definition of Autism• “According to the diagonostic critieria of the American Pshyciatric Assoication (APA), autism occurs when a child has a severe qualitative impairment in reciprical social interaction and communication skills and a restricted range of interests. (Buron, Wolfberg, & Gray, 2008, p. 20)
• It is viewed as a lifelong syndrome that is diagnosed in early childhood and continues through adulthood.• School personell remain the “front lines” in helping children with ASD reach their potential. (National Autism Center, 2009, p.13/32)
Current Facts about Autism • It affects 1:150 children nationwide • It can be found in all cultures • It is more common in boys than girls • There is currently no known cause or cure. (National Autism Center, 2009, p.15)
So...What exactly is Autism Spectrum Disorder? ("Library Outreach for Persons on the Autism Spectrum," n.d.)
• Of the 5 disorders, two of the disorders are rare: Rett’s Disorder and Childhood Disintergrative Disorder. You are not likely to see cases in school.• The other three (Autistic Disorder, Aspberger’s Disorder, and PDD-NOS) are common. You are likely to have come across a child with one of the above mentioned disorders. (National Autism Center, 2009, p.13)
Triad of Symptoms• Social Differences• Repetitive Behaviors or obsessive interests• Communication Differences
Social Differences• Myth: Children with autism do not want to socialize with others.• Rude, spoiled or viewed as choosing to not socialize with their peers.
• Social codes are often undecispharable to a child with Autism. • These social codes must be directly taughtWhat are some examples of social codes? (Aspy, Grossman, & Mesibov, 2012, p. 13)
What do you think?• Perspective taking• Mindblindness• Activity
Common Social Differences • Perspective taking: Difficulty recognizing the feelings and thoughts of others • Poor eye contact • Difficulty maintiaining space • Lacks tact • Difficulty joining an activity • Difficulty understanding non-verbal communication (Aspy, Grossman, & Mesibov, 2012, p. 14)
Communication Differences • Myth: Individuals with ASD have severely impaired language ability and are most likely non-verbal
• Individuals with ASD have a range of language abilities. While some are non- verbal, many have some form of verbal communication• Individuals with ASD often have deficits in the social aspect of language, Pragmatics. • Pragmatic skills need to be explicitly taught.
Common Communication Differences• Interperets words or conversations literally (Aspy, Grossman, & Mesibov, 2012, p. 15)
Common Communication Differences • difficulty with rules of conversation (interrupts, poor eye contact, difficulty maintaining conversation, may leave abruptly) • difficulty joining, starting and/or ending a conversation • difficulty asking for help • gives false impression of understanding more than he/she actually does • difficulty talking about other’s interests • difficulty following instructions (Aspy, Grossman, & Mesibov, 2012, p. 13)
Restricted Patterns of Behavior, Interests and Activities
Restricted Patterns of Behavior, Interests and Activities • Expresses strong interest in specific topic or toy. • Extremely well developed memory skills regarding dates and events that occurred. • Rigid ideas about routine • Atypical body movements (walking on toes, rocking, ritualized playground routines) • Sensory challenges (under or oversensitive to temperature, smell, texture) • Visually examines toys or objects in their environment. (Aspy, Grossman, & Mesibov, 2012, p. 13)
Triad of Symptoms• Social differences, Communication differences and Restricted Patterns of Behavior are all characteristics of ASD• The degree of the deficit varies with each individual.
Other associated disorders: Other associated disorders: •Medical conditions ☞Epilepsy •Psychiatric Conditions: ☞Mood Disorders (e.g., depression, bipolar disorder, dysthymia) ☞Anxiety Disorders ☞Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) ☞Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) ☞Tourette Syndrome/Tic Disorders ☞Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) •Learning Differences: ☞Learning Disabilities ☞Poor reading comprehension ☞Specific learning disability in written expression ✺ see complete list of associated conditions and sources in handout (Aspy, Grossman, & Mesibov, 2012, p. 22)
• With a diagnosis of deafness, a child is already considered to be under special education. An additional diagnosis is not always pursued.
Now what?Communication Social Differences Differences Restricted Patterns of Behavior
Ask yourself.... • “What is it about the situation that comes naturally to everyone else but is missing for this person?” • “What is it that has not occurred to me“That is the seemingly obvious. to teach?” That is the thing to teach.” (Aspy, Grossman, & Mesibov, 2012, p. 290)
“The teacher who does not understand that it isnecessary to teach autisitc children seemingly obviouse things will feel impatient and irritated.” -Hans Asperger.
What can we do? There are evidence based practices that havebeen identified to address the various needs that an individual on the spectrum may present.
Commonly used classroom strategies: First/then visual
CountdownsClassroom Timers are available free online.
Increase your awareness• http://www.autisminternetmodules.org/AIM modules are a way to provide parents and professionals with the up-to-date information they need to help individuals with ASD achieve their highest potential.• http://jillkuzma.wordpress.com/Jill Kuzman is a SLP who provides services for students with ASD around social skills. She gives free lessons, classroom activities, IEP goal writing and resources for teachers.• http://socialthinking.com/books-products/superflex-curriculumSuperflex curriculum, activities and products• http://www.teacch.com/• http://www.nea.org/home/15151.htm• http://www.autism-society.org/
Next steps..... Let’s identify some classroom needs tofocus on for the next PD opportunity“Make and Take Session”
Resources ReferencesAspy, R., Grossman, B. G., & Mesibov, G. B. (2012). Designing comprehensive interventionsfor high-functioning individuals with autism spectrum disorders: The Ziggurat model.Shawnee Mission, Kan., KS: AAPC Pub.Buron, K. D., Wolfberg, P. J., & Gray, C. (2008). Learners on the autism spectrum: Preparinghighly qualified educators. Shawnee Mission, Kan., KS: Autism Asperger Pub.Library Outreach for Persons on the Autism Spectrum. (n.d.). Library Outreach for Personson the Autism Spectrum. Retrieved fromhttps://sites.google.com/site/asdlibraryoutreach/National Autism Center. (2009). Evidence Based Practices and Autism in the Schools.National Autism Center. Retrieved October 11, 2012.
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