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What is Autism?• Autism is a developmental disorder which disconnects children from their environment and other people. This usually appears in the first 3 years of life, and affects the brains normal development of social and communication skills.• Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development.• In basic terminology-it affects the way the brain processes and uses information.
Then and Now…• The term "autism" now includes a wider spectrum of children. For example, a child who is diagnosed with high-functioning autism today may have been thought to simply be odd or strange 30 years ago.• A report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests that autism and related disorders are more common than previously thought. It is unclear whether this is due to an increasing rate of the illness or an increased ability to diagnose the illness.
Then and Now…• 30 years ago, 2-4 children in 10,000 born in America would eventually be diagnosed with autism…Today that number is a staggering 1 in 88!!
Causes• There isn’t one cause of autism just as there is no one type of autism.• “…physical condition linked to abnormal biology and chemistry in the brain.” The exact causes of the abnormalities are still unknown but research is on-going.• Most cases of autism, however, appear to be caused by a combination of autism risk genes and environmental factors influencing early brain development.
Factors• Doctors think there are many “factors” that combined that lead into autism.• Factors involves events before and during birth. – Parents older age at time of conception (both mom and dad) – Maternal illness during pregnancy – Certain difficulties during birth, especially those involving periods of oxygen deprivation to the baby’s brain.• It is important to keep in mind that these factors, by themselves, do not cause autism. Rather, in combination with genetic risk factors, they appear to increase risk.
Genetic Factors• Identical twins are more likely to be autistic than fraternal twins or even siblings• Language abnormalities are common in families with autism• Chromosomal abnormalities• Other nervous system problems (neurological)
Suspected Factors but NOT Proven• Diet• Digestive tract changes• Mercury poisoning• Body’s inability to properly use vitamins and minerals• Vaccine sensitivity-“Some people believe that the small amount of mercury that is a common preservative in multidose vaccines causes autism or ADHD. However, studies have NOT shown this risk to be true.”• AGAIN--“The American Academy of Pediatrics, and The Institute of Medicine (IOM) agree that no vaccine or component of any vaccine is responsible for the number of children who are currently being diagnosed with autism. They conclude that the benefits of vaccines outweigh the risks.”• Family income, education, and lifestyle do not seem to affect the risk of autism.
Traits or Symptoms• Most parents of autistic children suspect that something is wrong by the time the child is 18 months old and seek help by the time the child is age 2. Children with autism typically have difficulties in: – Pretend play – Social interactions – Verbal and nonverbal communication
Traits or Symptoms Cont.• Some children with autism appear “normal” before age 1 or 2 and then suddenly "regress" and lose language or social skills they had previously gained. This is called the regressive type of autism.
People With Autism May:• Be overly sensitive in sight, hearing, touch, smell, or taste (for example, they may refuse to wear "itchy" clothes and become distressed if they are forced to wear the clothes)• Have unusual distress when routines are changed• Perform repeated body movements• Show unusual attachments to objects(The symptoms may vary from moderate to severe.)
Communication Problems May Include:• Cannot start or maintain a social conversation• Communicates with gestures instead of words• Develops language slowly or not at all• Does not adjust gaze to look at objects that others are looking at• Does not refer to self correctly (for example, says "you want water" when the child means "I want water")• Does not point to direct others attention to objects (occurs in the first 14 months of life)• Repeats words or memorized passages, such as commercials
Social Interaction:• Does not make friends• Does not play interactive games• Is withdrawn• May not respond to eye contact or smiles, or may avoid eye contact• May treat others as if they are objects• Prefers to spend time alone, rather than with others• Shows a lack of empathy
Response to Sensory Information:• Does not startle at loud noises• Has heightened or low senses of sight, hearing, touch, smell, or taste• May find normal noises painful and hold hands over ears• May withdraw from physical contact because it is over stimulating or overwhelming• Rubs surfaces, mouths or licks objects• Seems to have a heightened or low response to pain
Play:• Doesnt imitate the actions of others• Prefers solitary or ritualistic play• Shows little pretend or imaginative play
Behaviors:• "Acts up" with intense tantrums• Gets stuck on a single topic or task (perseveration)• Has a short attention span• Has very narrow interests• Is overactive or very passive• Shows aggression to others or self• Shows a strong need for sameness• Uses repetitive body movements
Have you ever felt like this?Now think if you were on overloadevery second, of every minute, of everyday, of every year!!
Methods of Identification or Diagnosis• All children should have routine developmental exams done by their pediatrician.• If a child fails to meet any of the following language milestones: – Babbling by 12 months – Gesturing (pointing, waving bye-bye) by 12 months – Saying single words by 16 months – Saying two-word spontaneous phrases by 24 months (not just echoing) – Losing any language or social skills at any age“These children might receive a hearing evaluation, blood lead test,and screening test for autism (such as the Checklist for Autism inToddlers [CHAT] or the Autism Screening Questionnaire).”
Methods of Identification or Diagnosis• A team of different specialists will evaluate the child. They might evaluate: – Communication – Language – Motor skills – Speech – Success at school – Thinking abilities• Most children are diagnosed between 4.5 & 5.5 years old
Autism Checklist• A checklist to be used as a guide for a teacher so the teacher can possibly alter or adapt activities to fit a specific disability.• Children may fit into more than one of the categories and that is okay because this checklist is NOT used to diagnose a child, only to help a teacher adapt curriculum to a child with special needs.
Possible Problems• Autism can be associated with other disorders that affect the brain, such as: – Fragile X syndrome – Intellectual disability – Tuberous Sclerosis• Some people with autism will develop seizures.• The stresses of dealing with autism can lead to social and emotional complications for family and caregivers, as well as the person with autism.• “ASD can be associated with intellectual disability, difficulties in motor coordination and attention and physical health issues such as sleep and gastrointestinal disturbances. Some persons with ASD excel in visual skills, music, math and art.”
Possible Problems• “Some issues — like not wanting to try new foods or not wanting anyone to move their toys — affect lots of kids, not just those who have an autism spectrum disorder. But kids with these disorders have more trouble "growing out of it" and learning to handle stuff thats challenging and annoying.”• “Imagine trying to understand what your teacher is saying if you didnt know what her words really mean. It is even more frustrating if a child cant come up with the right words to express his or her own thoughts, or tell a parent what he or she needs or wants. Sometimes this can make a kid very upset and frustrated”
Treatment and Care• No cure but there is treatment.• No biological test for autism, the diagnosis will often be based on very specific criteria from a book called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual IV• With early intervention treatment great improvement can be made in a child’s development by learning important skills.• People with autism may not want a cure or don’t like to hear about a cure because they feel like the cure will be taking part of them away and they are not willing to give that up.
Teaching Suggestions• Match visual support with verbal instruction• Foreshadow changes to routines/schedule• Use first/then statements-ie. First put your shoe on and then tie it• Allow for “wait time” to receive a response• Less is more when it comes to verbal input• Role play/model situations-take a video of what you want them to do and let them watch it as many times as they want• Be consistent and clear as to what your expectations are• Try to understand the function behind behaviors-Try to figure out why they are flapping their hands…is he excited or is he overwhelmed? Figure out WHY?• Be aware of and sensitive to possible sensory insults. When possible, limit these insults.• Minimize visual and auditory distractions
Special Services/Adaptive Equipment• Occupational therapy• Physical therapy• Speak therapy• Specialized equipment to help a child with different tasks ie- toileting, tricycle with adaptive pedals and seat
Example of actual showing of how to brush teeth properly.
The Facts• 40% of Autistic people have average to above average intellectual abilities.• Autism affects boys more often than girls-four to five times more common-An estimated 1 out of 54 boys and 1 in 252 girls are diagnosed with autism in the United States.• The exact number of children with autism is not known.• By way of comparison, more children are diagnosed with autism each year than with juvenile diabetes, AIDS or cancer, combined.• Autism is not particular in who it may affect in racial, ethical or social groups.• If autism is diagnosed in a family, usually a sibling will have ADHD.
Multiple Choice Questions 1:• What is the cause of child being autistic? – A. Diet, mercury poisoning, vaccination of children – B. A combination of autism risk genes and environmental factors – C. Both A and B are thought to be involved• Answer C
Multiple Choice Questions 2:• How would you ask a child to perform an activity? – A. Tell them verbally all the directions at once. – B. Tell them the first step, then the second step, and so forth. – C. Make a video of what you want the child to do and let them watch the video as much as they want.• Answer C and then B
Multiple Choice Questions 3:• People with autism may possess which of the following characteristics? – A. light, smell taste, touch sensitivity – B. Distress when routines are changed – C. Repeated movements – D. All of the above• Answer D
True or False Question 1:• Girls are more prone to be Autistic than boys? – False-boys are four to five times more common.
True or False Question 2:• There is a cure for autism. – False-There are only treatments currently.
True or False Question 3:• More children are diagnosed with cancer than any other childhood illness or disease. – False-Autism is bigger than cancer, juvenile diabetes and aids combined.
Early diagnosis = early intervention = themost benefit of functioning later on!
Further Assistance can be found:• Local – Wisconsin Department of Health Services: • Geri Rettler Fond du Lac Co. Dept. of Community Svcs. 459 E. 1st. St. Fond du Lac, WI 54935 (920) 929-7052 • Beth Culp Winnebago Co. Human Svcs. Dept. 220 Washington Ave. PO Box 2187 Oshkosh, WI 54903-2187 (920) 236-4803
Further Assistance can be found:• Local: – Autism Society of the Fox Valley, Inc. 1800 Appleton Road Menasha, WI 54952 Phone: (920) 968-6829 General Email: email@example.com http://www.focol.org/asfv/
Further Assistance can be found:• State – Autism Society of Wisconsin 1477 Kenwood Drive Menasha, WI 54952 888-428-8476 http://www.asw4autism.org/• Wisconsin Early Autism Project (WEAP) – Madison Clinic 1210 Fourier Drive Madison, WI 53717 (608) 662-WEAP (9327)
Further Assistance can be found:• State Cont. Green Bay Clinic 1141 W. Main Avenue Suite 201 De Pere, WI 54115 (920)338-1610 – Milwaukee Clinic 150 N. Sunnyslope Road Suite 100 Brookfield, WI 53005 (262)432-5660 – Eau Claire Clinic 2125 Heights Drive Suite 2F Eau Claire, WI 54701 (715)832-2233 http://www.wiautism.com/
Further Assistance can be found:• National – Association for Science in Autism Treatment -- www.asatonline.org – Autism Society of America - www.autism- society.org – Autism Speaks - www.autismspeaks.org – CDCs Autism Information Center - www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism – National Institute of Mental Health - www.nimh.nih.gov
Activity 1:• Activity 1: – Cut the lines in the order they were specified to you with a scissors in your non-dominant hand. • Needed-paper with lines already printed • Scissors • Cut the lines out with your opposite dominant hands and cut them in the line order you were to remember.
Activity 2:• Activity 2: – Make Goop • 1 bowl or container • 1 cup cornstarch • ½ cup water • Mix ingredients together with hands.
References• References:• http://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism• http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH000 2494/#adam_001526.disease.causes• http://kidshealth.org/kid/health_problems/brain/autis m.html• http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/autism/detail_aut ism.htm• Act Today! Autism Care and Treatment• www.teaching.monster.com• www.Adaptivemall.com