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Asperger Syndrome
 

Asperger Syndrome

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  • Room is set up so that people are sitting in small groups at tables.
  • The notion here is to get people to understand how difficult it is for students with AS to read emotions. They can have extreme difficulties deciphering between what “frustration”, “anger” and “happiness” look and feel like.
  • In order to help a student with Asperger’s syndrome in our classrooms it is essential that we understand what it is like for the student. We need to understand that for these students they do not view the world and their surroundings like a typical student. They are not choosing this way of thinking. It is what makes them who they are. We can not change the way they think but can aid them in coping with their disability and helping them to understand some what how others think in order to get along better.
  • In order to help you understand how a person with Asperger’s sees the world we have listed some statements made by people of all ages who live with this disability. It is important to note that people with Asperger’s are individuals. They share common attributes with others that have the disability but they are as different from each other as your “typical” students would be in your classroom.
  • As educators it is also important for us to be aware of the traits of various disabilities so we do not make assumptions about a student’s behavior or academic standing that are incorrect and hence detrimental. We need to understand that these students do not mean to challenge us and, with our empathy and understanding, they have a vast amount of potential. This slide demonstrates some actual report card comments made by teachers about a student who at the time was undiagnosed as having Asperger’s Syndrome. These comments are from her actual report cards from second grade to sixth grade. ** She has an IQ of 130+ but was placed in the “slower paced reading and math groups”. She states “ What they didn't understand was that I was trying to learn, I just learned differently from the other kids. Anything that was visual or logical, something that I could draw or see, I could learn. I couldn't learn any other way”
  • Keeping the AS student in mind when you give general instructions will save you and your student a lot of frustration. In this chart you can see the AS student typical reaction to some general instructions a teacher may give. If you look at the suggested changes you can see that by making the instruction more literal and very clear and concise, the AS student will have less feel less anxious and be able to follow through on your instructions more effectively.
  • Each group will report back with 2 new interesting things that they learned from the workshop.
  • This is what it might be like for a child with AS in the classroom.
  • Quick-time may be needed to see the covers.

Asperger Syndrome Asperger Syndrome Presentation Transcript

  • Asperger Syndrome A Workshop for Educators Presented by Fab, Ingrid and Ryan
  • Introduction
    • The main focus of our workshop is to help you gain an intuitive understanding of what life is like for a student who lives with Asperger Syndrome (AS).
    • We plan to show what AS looks like through a variety of activities such as videos, discussion questions and scenarios.
    • This workshop will also provide you with a variety of teaching strategies and approaches that can help you assist any student with AS within your own class.
  • Let’s get to know one another!
    • Bags of M & Ms are being passed around, please help yourself… but do not eat them yet!!!
  • Getting to Know You
    • Now, before you eat your treat, there is a catch!
    • For every M&M you chose, please tell the people at your table one thing about yourself.
  • Brainstorm
    • What do we know about Asperger Syndrome?
    • Get into groups of four.
    • Take a marker and piece of chart paper.
    • Try to come up with a definition as well as how it might feel to have AS and what we as educators can do to assist these students.
    • Each group will present their ideas to the larger group and post their chart paper on the side wall. We’ll reflect back on them after the presentation to see what we have learned.
  • Workshop Outcomes
    • Learn about the diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome.
    • Learn to empathize with students who have AS and try to develop a better understanding of what they are going through.
    • Learn effective strategies that you can use in your classroom to help assist any student with AS.
  • So where did Asperger Syndrome originate??
    • Identified in the 1940s by Hans Asperger
    • Viennese pediatrician (1906-1980)
    • Described a group of boys with:
      • poor social interaction
      • failure in communication
      • development of narrow interests
  • Our thinking has changed over the years!!
    • Lorna Wing wrote many books on the topic (1980s) and coined the term Asperger Syndrome.
    • She challenged a previous view of autism by Leo Kanner (1940s) who believed that the syndrome arose due to poor parenting or a lack of mothering.
    • If this were true, we would all have several kids with AS in our classes! 
  • Entered the DSM-IV in 1994
    • DIAGNOSTIC CRITERIA FOR ASPERGER SYNDROME
    • Qualitative impairment in social interaction , as manifested by at least two of the following:
  • DSM-IV Criteria for AS
    • 1) marked impairment in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviours such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction;
    • 2) failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level;
    • 3) lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests or achievements with other people; and
    • 4) lack of social or emotional reciprocity.
  • DSM-IV Criteria for AS
    • Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behaviour, interests and activities (at least one of the following)
      • 1) encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus;
      • 2) apparently inflexible adherence to specific, non-functional routines or rituals;
  • DSM-IV Criteria for AS
      • 3) stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms (e.g., hand or finger flapping or twisting, or complex movements); and
      • 4) persistent preoccupation with parts of objects.
  • Interesting Differences between Asperger Syndrome and Autism
    • AS shows no significant delay in language (developing normally).
    • It also shows no significant delay in cognitive development or in the development of age-appropriate self-help skills.
  • However, they are closely related!
    • AS shares many traits with autism
    • The degree of impairment differs widely among individuals
    • Many younger children who are diagnosed with classical autism move through the spectrum and are re-diagnosed with AS later in childhood
  • AS Criteria: Real Life Examples
    • Impairment in communication
      • Literal use of language
        • confused by expressions — “cat got your tongue”
        • confused by shades of meaning/ambiguity
        • expansive vocabulary often hides poor understanding
      • Impairment in language “pragmatics”
        • lack of reciprocity in conversation -- talks “at you”
        • misses non-verbal cues (body language)
  • AS Criteria: Real Life Examples
    • Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behaviour, interests and activities
      • self stimulation activities such as rocking, spinning, arm flapping
      • intense all-consuming preoccupation with a narrow subject (e.g., trains, dinosaurs, TV characters)
      • intense need for routine and consistency with anxiety when routines are not followed
  • AS can be a wonderful thing
    • Before we move on, let’s watch a little video on some famous people who live with AS. I think you may be pleasantly surprised by some of the faces. Enjoy!!!
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3efFjnEhFX4&feature=related
  • Enough sitting already! Let’s dramatize!
    • Each group will be given a set of “emotion” cards which will be acted out by volunteers in your group. It is not necessary for every group member to act out one of the emotions – just those who want to.
    • Important – You are not allowed to talk.
    • Your group members will have to guess your emotion by your actions and facial expressions.
    • Try and see it through the eyes of a student with AS who struggles with reading emotions.
  • What is it like to have Asperger Syndrome? From the child’s perspective
  • Why do we need to understand?
    • Asperger Syndrome is not a physical disability, so the condition can be invisible to the rest of the world. It is easy to tell that a person in a wheelchair has a physical disability that may require support and understanding, whereas people with an autism spectrum disorder look just like anybody without a disability. This means it can be extremely difficult to raise awareness and foster an understanding of the condition.
  • Try to Imagine
    • You wake up in a foreign country where you do not speak the language and have no way of effectively communicating with the people around you. On top of this, the people around you have a different set of social rules (such as the way they greet one another when meeting). You try your best but cannot figure out what they are doing and why.
  • Take a moment now and discuss these questions with your table:
    • How would you feel?
    • How would you react?
    • How would you cope?
  • LIFE WITH AS
    • To varying degrees, this is how people with AS experience their surroundings every day and their initial responses are often to find unique ways of understanding and coping with the situations in which they find themselves. This is why they may behave and act in ways that may appear odd or even mischievous, and these reactions may effectively isolate the individual from the world even more.
  • LIFE WITH AS “ My teacher says I’m rude. I think I’m honest. I don’t understand why I can’t tell someone that they have bad breath, ugly hair, or to go away because I’m busy.”
  • How “I” See the World
    • "I have difficulty picking up social cues, and difficulty in knowing what to do when I get things wrong.”
    • “ I always knew something was different about me, but I did not know what it was.”
    • “ I speak extremely formally, and, as a result, am often referred to by my peers as ‘the human dictionary.’"
    • “ I am having problems making friends at my school.”
    • “ My attempts to join in were met with ridicule and exclusion.”
    • “ I feel different. Other children at school are not what I am like.” 
    • “ What I experience is often ignored by others who keep telling me that I am like them and that I just need to try harder.”
    • “ Teachers often reprimand me for speaking in a ‘disrespectful tone of voice’ when I do not understand how tone of voice can express emotion.”
    • “ Anything new can upset me.”
  • Helping or Hurting? Report Card Comments of Undiagnosed Student with AS
    • Socially she is a problem.
    • She is apt to revert to some sort of very immature behaviour if she is left alone or with other children.
    • Poor Work Habits
    • Makes Poor Use of Time
    • Does not Show an Interest in Outside Reading, Does not Get Work in on Time
    • Poor Reasoning Ability
    • If she did not day-dream, she could participate more knowingly.
    • Usually does not listen the first time.
    • She has not yet learned self-discipline in applying herself to the job at hand.
    • Inclination to do a job fast--and often quite carelessly
  • IN YOUR CLASSROOM, A STUDENT WITH AS WILL TYPICALLY:
    • Have impairment in social situations: show an inability to understand complex rules of social interaction, cannot read social cues, body language (i.e., A frustrated, or angry look)
    • Have a restricted range of interests: they can have eccentric preoccupations or odd, intense fixations (sometimes obsessively collecting unusual things). They may ask incessant questions on one particular topic and “lecture” on their area of interest, not noticing that others may not be interested.
    • Take things very literally. Social nuances are lost on them.
    • Have poor concentration: are often off task, disorganized, cannot figure out what is relevant to focus on so may get fixated on something other than present classroom activity
  • IN YOUR CLASSROOM (CONTINUED)
    • Have poor motor coordination: are physically clumsy and awkward
    • Have difficulty with Academic Activities: usually have average to above-average intelligence (especially in the verbal sphere) but lack high level thinking and comprehension skills
    • Suffer from emotional vulnerability: can compete intellectually in regular classroom but often do not have the emotional coping skills to deal with the demands of the classroom (due to inability to be flexible)
  • LET’S WATCH
    • Here’s a video clip of living with AS from a child’s perspective
    • This video should help you get a sense of how these children think and feel
    • http://www. youtube .com/watch?v=UAUV4RZPN9k&feature=related
  • NOW YOUR TURN!
    • We ask that one member from each group please come to the front and pick up a “Classroom Instructions” chart.
  • NOW YOUR TURN!
    • With your group, use the “Classroom Instructions” chart to brainstorm the way in which the instruction given by the teacher may be interpreted by a “typical” student in your class (most likely the way you intended the instruction would be carried out) and then how that same instruction might be interpreted by a student with AS.
    • (Prepare to share with the large group in ten minutes.)
  • Classroom Instructions “ There has been a change in where we line up today at recess. Please line up at Door A instead of Door C today.” “ Put your thinking cap on” “ Do this worksheet” Student with AS Interpretation Typical Student Interpretation Instruction
  • Classroom Instructions Today at the end of recess I need you to line up with the rest of the class at Door C. This change is only for today. Where is Door C? When do you line up there? When do I line up? Do I line up there now? We’re supposed to line up at Door A. “ There has been a change in where we line up today at recess. Please line up at Door A instead of Door C today.” Do you remember the process to solve problems? What do we do first? I don’t own one I don’t wear hats No hats are allowed at school “ Put your thinking cap on” Here’s a math sheet. I expect you to finish some but you don’t have to do it all right now. What do I do with it? When do I do it? Do I have to complete it now? “ Do this worksheet” Suggested Change Student with AS Interpretation Instruction
  • How do we support these students in our class?
    • What can we do?
  • Accommodating the Environment for Students with AS
    • establish routines
    • establish clear expectations
    • use visual supports (lists, calendars)
    • decrease stress
    • supervise unstructured time
    • develop “circle of friends”
    • work collaboratively with parents
  • Sample Visual Calendar
    • For younger AS students
  • Teaching Strategies
    • Difficulties with Language
    • teach conversational skills in small group settings
    • explain metaphors and words with double meanings
    • pause between instructions and check for understanding
    • watch videos to identify nonverbal expressions and their
    • meaning
    • Insistence on Sameness
    Teaching Strategies
    • prepare student for potential change wherever possible
    • use pictures, schedules, written/drawn notifications, and
    • social stories to indicate impending changes
    • Sample Schedule Indicating Impending Changes
  • Sample Written Notification of Change
    • Dear Sammy,
    • Remember that today I will be picking you up early from school at 2:30 for your dentist appointment. See you later!
    • Love,
    • Dad
    • Impairment in Social Interaction
    Teaching Strategies
    • explicitly teach rules of social conduct
    • teach student how to interact through social stories, comic
    • book conversations, modelling, role-playing, and “social
    • autopsies worksheets”
    • use buddy system to assist student during non-structured
    • times
    • structure social skills groups to provide opportunities for
    • direct instruction on specific skills and to practise actual
    • events
    • teach relaxation techniques and designate a quiet place for
    • relaxing
  • Social Stories
    • help describe social situations to enhance social understanding
    • geared to particular problem/issue
    • examples include:
    • transitioning
    • playing during recess
    • puberty
    • appropriate behaviours when in the community
  • Social Stories: An Example
    • Problem: A child with AS who ‘melts down’ when his classroom schedule changes
    • Goal: Help this child label his emotions when things change and give him a larger repertoire of behaviours to deal with them
  • Comic Book Conversations
    • graphical means of analyzing social situations
    • helps individual with AS grasp thoughts/feelings of conversational partner
    • colours can be used to show emotion (e.g., green = happy, red = sad, purple = proud)
  • Sample Social Autopsies Worksheet
    • Restricted Range of Interests
    Teaching Strategies
    • limit perseverative discussions and questions
    • set firm expectations for classroom but provide
    • opportunities for student to pursue own interests
    • incorporate and expand on personal interests in activities
    • Poor Concentration
    Teaching Strategies
    • provide frequent teacher feedback and redirection
    • use visual organizers, semantic mapping, and outlining
    • provide timed work sessions
    • seat student at front of classroom
    • use nonverbal cues to get attention
    • Sample Classroom Layout
    • Poor Motor Coordination
    Teaching Strategies
    • actively involve student in fitness activities
    • take slower writing speed into account when giving
    • assignments
    • provide extra time for tests
    • consider use of computers for written assignments
    • Academic Difficulties
    Teaching Strategies
    • break tasks down into smaller steps
    • be as concrete as possible in presenting new concepts
    • use activity-based learning where possible
    • avoid verbal overload
    • capitalize on strengths (e.g., memory)
    • Breaking a Task into Smaller Steps
    • Sensory Sensitivities
    Teaching Strategies
    • be aware that normal levels of auditory and visual input
    • can be perceived by student as too much or too little
    • minimize background noise
    • teach and model relaxation strategies (e.g., deep breaths)
    • provide opportunities and space for quiet time
    • arrange for independent work space free of sensory stimuli
    • that bother student
    • Managing Tantrums/Rage/Meltdowns
    Identifying the three stages of rage:
    • Rumbling Stage (e.g., fidgeting, swearing, making noises,
    • ripping paper, grimacing, refusing to cooperate, rapid
    • movements, tears, tensing muscles, name calling,
    • increasing/decreasing voice volume, verbal threats,
    • tapping foot, erasing paper until hole appears)
  • 2. Rage Stage (e.g., uninhibited, acts impulsively, emotional, explosive, destroying property, self-injury, screaming, biting, hitting, kicking, internalized behaviour – harms self) 3. Recovery Stage (e.g., sleeping, often cannot fully remember what occurred during rage stage, may deny rage behaviour, withdrawal into fantasy, apologetic, fragile, sullen)
  • Appropriate Adult Interventions During the Rumbling Stage:
    • Key: Intervene without becoming a part of the struggle! Remain calm and use a quiet voice.
    • Use strategies that limit adult verbalization, have student choice options, and can be used flexibly to meet student needs.
    • Antiseptic Bouncing: remove student, in nonpunitive fashion, from environment in which he or she is experiencing difficulty (e.g., send child on an errand)
    • Proximity Control: teacher simply moves near student who is engaged in target behaviour (e.g., circulate through classroom regularly during lesson)
  • Appropriate Adult Interventions During the Rumbling Stage (continued):
    • Signal Interference: when child with AS begins to exhibit behaviour that occurs just prior to tantrum, teacher can use nonverbal signal to let student know that teacher is aware of situation (e.g., an agreed-upon “secret signal” to alert child that he or she is under stress)
    • Support from Routine: displaying chart or visual schedule can provide security to children with AS who typically need predictability (e.g., student signalling frustration may be directed to schedule to remind student that after he or she completes two more problems, he or she gets to work on topic of special interest with peer)
  • Appropriate Adult Interventions During the Rumbling Stage (continued):
    • Acknowledging Student Difficulties: effective when student working on difficult task and teacher thinks student can complete activity with support (e.g., “Yes, the problem is difficult. Let’s start with number one.”)
    • Just Walk and Don’t Talk: adult merely walks with student without talking (since child with AS in rumbling stage will likely react emotively to any statement); during walk, child can say whatever he or she wishes without fear of discipline or logical argument; adult should be calm, show as little reaction as possible, and never be confrontational
  • Appropriate Adult Interventions During the Rage Stage:
    • Once this stage begins, it most often must run its course.
    • Key: Focus on child, peer, and adult safety as well as protection of school or personal property. Remain calm and quiet, and project that appearance.
    • Try getting child to “home base” (i.e., designated place to escape stress) only if it can be achieved without using physical restraint
    • Important to help individual with AS regain control and preserve dignity
  • Appropriate Adult Interventions During the Rage Stage (continued):
    • Adults should have plans ready for:
    • a) obtaining assistance from other teachers or principal, or
    • b) removing other students from area, or
    • c) providing therapeutic restraint if necessary (generally, should be used only if child harming him- or herself
    • Do not take any student rage behaviour personally.
    • Disengage emotionally (so that you do not escalate your behaviour)
  • Appropriate Adult Interventions During the Recovery Stage:
    • Work with student to help him or her once again become part of routine
    • Direct student to highly motivating task that can be easily completed (e.g., activity related to special interest)
    • Some students with AS may need to engage in self-relaxation techniques
  • Appropriate Adult Interventions During the Recovery Stage (continued):
    • Once child has been redirected to structured activity, important for teacher to take time to regroup (e.g., leave classroom briefly if possible, take deep breaths, engage in filing or another brief activity that is calming)
    • Do not refer to rage behaviours at this time as student is not ready to process or learn new skills that can prevent future meltdowns.
  • Sample Stress Tracking Chart
  • Let’s bring it all together!
    • With your group, look over the things you wrote on your chart paper at the beginning of the workshop.
    • Would you change or add anything at this point? Discuss with your group.
    • Each group will share with the larger group one change or addition that they would make to their original brainstorming list and briefly explain why.
  • Ok let’s recap!!
    • Asperger Syndrome is a high-functioning form of autism.
    • One of the most notable characteristics of AS is a
    • problem with communication. Although people with AS
    • can speak and may have a very extensive vocabulary, they
    • have difficulty understanding the subtle nuances of
    • communication . Nonverbal communication can be
    • particularly difficult for some of them; therefore, forming
    • lasting friendships is a huge task .
  • Understanding things from an AS point of view!
    • Life can be difficult for these students so we often need to step back and empathize what they are going through.
    • We need to be supportive and remember that they are not broken. They are not abnormal. They just learn a little differently than others.
  • Teaching Strategies for Students with AS
    • By establishing consistent routines and expectations, students with AS will feel confident that they can learn in a classroom environment that is supportive and predictable.
    • Visual aids can help to alleviate stress, provide more opportunities to develop a circle of friends, and avoid potential problems with transitions/changes in routines for students with AS.
    • The Stress Tracking Chart can be used to record the teacher’s observations on a student with AS so that the teacher gets to know the student better and can more readily identify patterns in behaviour.
    • Throughout all three stages of rage, it is extremely important for the adult to remain calm and to project a calm appearance!
  • References
    • Help! Napoleon Dynamite is in my Classroom - power point by Kiwalski, Timothy
    • http://autismvisualresources.com/images/visuals/visual_calendar.gif - visual calendar
    • http://education.alberta.ca/media/511995/autism.pdf
    • http:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorna_Wing - Lorna Wing
    • http://hubpages.com/hub/What-its-Lkie-to-Have-Aspergers-Syndrome-A-Story - recap page
    • http://web.mac.com/socialpragmatics/Site/Welcome.html
  • References (continued)
    • http:// web.syr.edu/~rjkopp/data/as_diag_list.html - DSM IV criteria
    • http:// www.udel.edu/bkirby/asperger/socialcarolgray.html - social stories, cartoon conversation
    • le:///Users/teacher/Desktop/asperger's%20info/Asperger%20Info:%20moreno_tips_for_teaching.webarchive - tips for teaching O.A.S.I.S
    • Miles, Brenda S. Children and Youth with Asperger Syndrome: Strategies for
    • Success in Inclusive Settings . Thousand Oaks, California: Corwin Press, 2005.
    • Users/teacher/Desktop/asperger's%20info/Asperger%20Syndrome:%20Understanding%20the%20Student%20with%20Asperger's%20Syndrome:%20Guidelines%20for%20Teachers.webarchive - teaching tips for students with Asperger’s (O.A.S.I.S)
    • Users/teacher/Desktop/Asperger%20Syndrome%20Writer's%20Corner:%20What%20the%20DSMIV%20Means%20To%20Me.webarchive - Asperger’s Syndrome Writer’s Corner
  • Additional Resources to Support Further Research
    • “ Asperger Syndrome: Living Outside the Bell Curve.” DVD. Attainment Company Inc., Verona, WI, 2002.
    • Dubin, Nick. Asperger Syndrome and Bullying . Philadelphia, PA: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2007.
    • Prior, Margot (editor). Learning and Behavior Problems in Asperger Syndrome . New York: The Guilford Press, 2003.
  • BOOKS TO SHARE These are some books you can share with your whole class or suggest as positive reading material for a family with a child with AS
    • All these books can be purchased from Amazon Books.
    This book is a memoir of a couple who fall in love and learn to cope with the challenges of Asperger Syndrome together. Title: Mozart and the Whale Authors: Jerry and Mary Newport This book takes the perspective of an eleven year old boy who has Asperger Syndrome. It gives a positive approach to families who are personally affected. Title: Asperger’s Huh: Author: John Strachan This is written in a fun way to help a student with AS learn positive ways to deal with issues that may arise in school. Title: Adam’s Alternate Sports Day Author: Jude Welton
  • Thank you!
    • We extend a thank you to each of you for being a part of our workshop today! We hope that you have learned something new about Asperger Syndrome!
    • Before you leave, please take a moment to complete the feedback sheets being distributed. You may leave the completed sheets at your table. Thank you.