Aspergers Syndrome by Steve Vitto

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An overview of Aspergers Syndrome by Steven Vitto, M.A.

An overview of Aspergers Syndrome by Steven Vitto, M.A.

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  • 1. Presented by: Steve Vitto, M.A., Behavioral Teacher Consultant Muskegon Area ISD Asperger Syndrome
  • 2. What Is Asperger Syndrome?
    • Child with diminished nonverbal communication and social interaction but normal language and cognitive development
    • Neurodevelopmental disorder of the brain that affects a number of abilities
    • Atypical sensitivity to sensory input
    • Have problems with motor and coordination skills
    • Have intense or unusual interests in certain subjects
    • Not a behavior disorder
    • Can not be empirically or medically determined
    • Four times more common in boys than girls
  • 3. How Is It Diagnosed?
    • Observations
    • Parent interviews
    • Language and cognitive testing
      • Verbal and nonverbal communication
      • Social relatedness
      • Play
      • Behavior
    • No blood test or chromosomal test
    • Medical identification using the DSM-IV criteria
  • 4. Symptoms of Asperger Syndrome
      • Perseveration on specific topics of interest
      • Insistance on sameness/difficulty with changes in routine
      • Inability to make and keep friends
      • Difficulty with reciprocal conversations
      • Pedantic speech
      • Socially naïve and literal thinkers
      • Difficulty with learning in large groups
      • Difficulties with abstract concepts
      • Problem-solving abilities tend to be poor
      • Vocabulary usually great; comprehension poor
      • Low frustration tolerance
      • Poor coping strategies
      • Narrow and or intense focus of interest
  • 5. Video- Tony Attwood
    • Social Difficulties
  • 6. Symptoms of Asperger Syndrome (continued)
      • Impulsivity
      • Difficulty discerning between fiction and reality
      • Poor writing skills (fine-motor problems)
      • Poor concentration
      • Emotional vulnerabilidty
      • Academic difficulties
      • Poor organization skills (executive functions)
      • Appear “normal” to other people
      • Motor cluminess
      • Inability to interpret nonverbal language
      • Difficulty initiating and or maintaining conversations
      • Personal-space violations
      • Difficulty with perspective-taking (theory of mind deficits)
      • Sensory difficulties (hypo or hypersensitive)
  • 7. Tony Attwood -Video
    • Pragmatics
    • Special Interests
    • Cognition
    • Central Coherence
    • Stress and Management
    • Homework
    • Motor Clumsiness
    • Sensory
  • 8. Causes of Asperger Syndrome
    • We don’t know yet
    • We do know:
      • Parents do not cause it
      • Mother’s actions before or during pregnancy does not cause it
      • Research is examining the biological and structural aspects of brain
  • 9. Behaviors and Stress
      • Behaviors are misinterpreted
      • Function of poor coping strategies
      • Low frustration tolerance
      • Difficulty reading social cues
      • Involves feelings of stress
      • Inability to predict outcomes
      • See the world as unpredictable and threatening
      • Recognize basic emotions (sad, mad, happy and afraid)
      • Don’t access the thinking area of the brain under stress
  • 10. Strategies Which May Increase Behavioral Difficulties
    • Judgmental or emotional responses
    • Expectations of rapid compliance
    • Misperceptions of intentionality (he knows what he is doing)
    • Misperceptions about variant ability to control (because he can do it sometimes he is capable)
    • Punishment involving exclusion or separation
    • Police Involvement and/or Juvenile Detention
    • Frequent change of staff or assigning substitute staff
  • 11. Teacher Behaviors That Can Escalate a Crisis
    • Raising your voice or yelling
    • Statement proclaiming your authority (e.g., “I’m the boss.”)
    • Having the last word
    • Using sarcasm
    • Bringing up past events
    • Commanding and demanding compliance
    • Using unwarranted physical management (e.g., forced compliance)
    • Not allowing choices
    • Nagging
    • Labeling or giving undue attention to the undesired behavior
  • 12. Teacher Behaviors That Can Diffuse a Crisis
    • Avoid ultimatums
    • Honor personal space
    • Avoid touching the student when they are upset
    • Provide reasonable limits
    • Be careful of prolonged staring
    • Refrain from arguing
    • Let the student know what he needs to do
    • Talk with a calm even tone
  • 13. Develop a Functional Assessment
    • Environmental Variables
    • Setting Events
    • Preventative Strategies
    • Needs being Met through the Behavior
    • Disability Characteristics
  • 14. Writing a Formal Behavior Plan
    • Definition of Behavior
    • Motivation of Behavior
    • Preventative Strategies
    • Reinforcement Strategies
    • Replacement Skills to be Taught
    • Consequences that Teach and Restore
  • 15. Evaluating Consequences
    • Individualized and data based decisions
    • Consequences should facilitate their learning of replacement skills
    • Consequence provide an opportunity to make things right
    • Consequences should relate to the behavior of concern
    • Consequences should support community building efforts
    • Consequences should involve peer understanding and support
    • Ineffective consequences should be abandoned
  • 16. What Teachers Can Do In A Classroom
    • Teacher selected groups
    • Recognize the students strengths
    • Provide a predictable, safe environment
    • Firm expectations
    • Refrain from arguing
    • Provide adequate response time
    • Provision of a quiet place to go when stressed
    • Reduce distractions and sensory overload
    • Break large tasks or concepts into smaller steps
  • 17.
    • Structured day
    • Positive behavior management techniques
    • Create visual organizers
    • Keep instructions simple
    • Type on the computer instead of using pencil and paper for handwriting
    • Choose seating carefully
    • Provide peer education about Asperger Syndrome
    What Teachers Can Do In A Classroom (continued)
  • 18. Establish Preventative Environments
    • Emphasis on prompting and modeling desired behavior
    • Clear rules and expectations (written or symbolic)
    • Peer group that understands and knows how to respond to and support the student with Aspergers
    • Frequent positive feedback
    • Focus on developing social skills
    • Ample time to process and respond to directives
    • Advanced and ample time to make transitions
    • Calming area when overstimulated
  • 19. Attributes of Good Program
    • Personality of teacher
    • Access to support and resources
    • Teacher and school staff
      • calm disposition
      • predictable in their emotional reactions
      • flexible
      • see the world through the child’s eyes
      • a sense of humor
    • Classroom size is smaller
    • Quiet well ordered classroom
  • 20.
    • [email_address]