The Particular Needs Of Students With An Autistic Spectrum Disorder - Session Ten

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Special Educational Needs and/or disabilities: a training resource for secondary undergraduate Initial Teacher Training courses

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The Particular Needs Of Students With An Autistic Spectrum Disorder - Session Ten

  1. 1. The particular needs of students with an autistic spectrum disorder Special educational needs and/or disabilities Training toolkit Session 10 Areas of need set out in the SEN Code of Practice
  2. 2. Learning outcomes <ul><li>You will: </li></ul><ul><li>be familiar with the original ideas of Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger </li></ul><ul><li>be able to recognise the similarities and differences in the diagnosis of autism and Asperger syndrome </li></ul><ul><li>recognise how the triad of impairments links to these ideas </li></ul>
  3. 3. Learning outcomes (continued…) <ul><li>You will: </li></ul><ul><li>be able to identify practical strategies to create an ASD-friendly learning environment </li></ul><ul><li>be able to remove barriers for students with an ASD </li></ul>
  4. 4. Questions <ul><li>How many people in 10,000 have an ASD? </li></ul><ul><li>Do more boys than girls have an ASD? </li></ul>
  5. 5. Answers <ul><li>It is estimated that one individual in every 100 will have an ASD </li></ul><ul><li>It is estimated that over half a million people in the UK have an ASD </li></ul><ul><li>There are at least four boys to every girl diagnosed with an ASD </li></ul><ul><li>Information from www.nas.org.uk </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>“ Autism isn’t something a person has, or a ‘shell’ that a person is trapped inside… Autism is a way of being. It is pervasive. It colours every experience, every sensation, perception, thought, emotion and encounter, every aspect of existence. It is not possible to separate the autism from the person – and if it were possible, the person you’d have left would not be the same person you started with.” </li></ul><ul><li>Jim Sinclair, Don’t Mourn For Us, Autism Network international newsletter: Our Voice, volume 1, number 3, 1993 </li></ul>
  7. 7. Learning outcomes <ul><li>Trainees will: </li></ul><ul><li>become familiar with the original ideas of Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger </li></ul><ul><li>recognise the similarities and differences in the diagnosis of autism and Asperger syndrome </li></ul><ul><li>recognise how the triad of impairments links to these ideas </li></ul><ul><li>identify the unique presentation of the triad in different students </li></ul>Activity 1
  8. 8. <ul><li>“ Since 1938, there have come to our attention a number of children whose condition differs so markedly and uniquely from anything reported so far, that each case merits – and I hope will eventually receive – a detailed consideration of its fascinating peculiarities.” </li></ul><ul><li>Leo Kanner, Autistic Disturbances of Affective Contact, Nervous Child, 2, 1943, pages 217−250 </li></ul>
  9. 9. Leo Kanner, 1943 <ul><li>Inability to relate to people and social situations from early life, marked by profound ‘aloneness’ </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to use language to communicate </li></ul><ul><li>An anxious and obsessive desire to maintain sameness </li></ul><ul><li>A fascination for objects, which are handled with skill in fine motor movements </li></ul><ul><li>Good rote memory </li></ul><ul><li>Oversensitivity to stimuli </li></ul><ul><li>Apparently good cognitive potential </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>“ The children I will present all have in common a fundamental disturbance which manifests itself in their physical appearance, expressive functions, and indeed, their whole behaviour. This disturbance results in severe and characteristic difficulties of social integration. In some cases the social problems are so profound that they overshadow everything else. In some cases, however, the problems are compensated by a high level of original thought and experience.” </li></ul><ul><li>Hans Asperger, 1944, ‘Autistic Psychopathy’ in Childhood, in U Frith (ed), 1991, Autism and Asperger Syndrome, Cambridge University Press </li></ul>
  11. 11. Hans Asperger, 1944 <ul><li>Social impairment – extreme egocentricity </li></ul><ul><li>Speech and language peculiarities </li></ul><ul><li>Repetitive routines </li></ul><ul><li>Motor clumsiness </li></ul><ul><li>Narrow interests </li></ul><ul><li>Non-verbal communication problems </li></ul>
  12. 12. The triad of impairments Social understanding and relating Flexible thinking and social imagination Social communication
  13. 13. Questions <ul><li>In what ways are they similar? </li></ul><ul><li>In what ways are they different? </li></ul><ul><li>How do their descriptions fit in with the notion of a triad of impairments? </li></ul><ul><li>How do you recognise the triad as manifesting in any student you know with an ASD? </li></ul>
  14. 14. Learning outcomes <ul><li>You will: </li></ul><ul><li>recognise aspects of the triad of impairments </li></ul><ul><li>understand how areas of the triad relate to inclusion </li></ul><ul><li>generate ideas about possible strategies </li></ul>Activity 2
  15. 15. The triad of impairments Social understanding and relating Flexible thinking and social imagination Social communication
  16. 16. Social understanding and relating <ul><li>Impairment in the ability to understand social behaviour which affects interaction with others </li></ul>
  17. 17. Social understanding and relating <ul><li>“ Social interactions that come naturally to most people can be daunting for people with autism. As a child, I was like an animal that had no instincts to guide me; I just had to learn by trial and error. I was always observing, trying to work out the best way to behave, but I never fitted in… I wanted to participate, but did not know how.” </li></ul><ul><li>Temple Grandin, 1996, Emergence: Labeled autistic, Vintage </li></ul>
  18. 18. Impact of an impairment in social understanding <ul><li>Not understanding unwritten social rules </li></ul><ul><li>Not recognising others’ feelings </li></ul><ul><li>Preferring to be alone </li></ul><ul><li>Not seeking comfort from others </li></ul><ul><li>Appearing to behave ‘strangely’ or inappropriately </li></ul>
  19. 19. Social communication <ul><li>Impairment in the ability to understand and use non-verbal and verbal communication </li></ul>
  20. 20. Flexibility of thought and social imagination <ul><li>Impairment in the ability to think and behave flexibly, which may be shown in restricted, obsessional or repetitive activities or interests and difficulties in developing play skills </li></ul>
  21. 21. Difficulties with social imagination <ul><li>People with an ASD often find it hard to: </li></ul><ul><li>understand and interpret other people’s thoughts, feelings and actions </li></ul><ul><li>predict what will or could happen next </li></ul><ul><li>understand the concept of danger </li></ul><ul><li>engage in imaginative play </li></ul><ul><li>prepare for change and plan for the future </li></ul><ul><li>cope in new or unfamiliar situations </li></ul>
  22. 22. Other related features of ASDs <ul><li>Love of routine </li></ul><ul><li>Sensory sensitivity </li></ul><ul><li>Special interests </li></ul><ul><li>Learning difficulties </li></ul>
  23. 23. Learning outcome <ul><li>You will understand the features of autism and Asperger syndrome </li></ul>Activity 3
  24. 24. Autism and Asperger syndrome <ul><li>Both groups share the triad of impairments with some </li></ul><ul><li>differences in emphasis </li></ul><ul><li>Asperger syndrome </li></ul><ul><li>Delay in language development unlikely </li></ul><ul><li>Some social communication difficulties </li></ul><ul><li>Cognitive function within the typical range </li></ul><ul><li>Autism </li></ul><ul><li>Three-quarters of the population will have additional learning needs, some at a severe level </li></ul>
  25. 25. Additional features in Asperger syndrome <ul><li>Sensory sensitivities </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Savant ability’ (seen in about one in 10 of the population) </li></ul><ul><li>Uneven developmental profile </li></ul><ul><li>Good rote memory </li></ul><ul><li>Circumscribed special interests </li></ul><ul><li>Motor coordination difficulties </li></ul>
  26. 26. Sensory sensitivities: auditory <ul><li>“ My hearing is like having a hearing aid with the volume control stuck on ‘super loud’. It is like an open microphone that picks up everything. I have two choices: turn the mic on and get deluged with sound, or shut it off.” </li></ul><ul><li>Temple Grandin </li></ul>
  27. 27. Sensory sensitivities: visual <ul><li>“ Together, the sharp sounds and the bright lights were more than enough to overload my senses. My head would feel tight, my stomach would churn, and my pulse would run my heart ragged until I found a safety zone.” </li></ul><ul><li>Liane Holliday Willey, 1999, Pretending to be Normal: Living with Asperger syndrome, Jessica Kingsley </li></ul>
  28. 28. Sensory sensitivities: olfactory <ul><li>“ (As a reaction to perfume) my mouth tasted like I had eaten a bunch of sickly smelling flowers.” </li></ul><ul><li>Donna Williams, 1994, Nobody Nowhere, Jessica Kingsley </li></ul>
  29. 29. Sensory sensitivities: taste and touch <ul><li>“ I was supersensitive to the texture of food and I had to touch everything with my fingers to see how it felt before I could put it in my mouth. I really hated it when food had things mixed with it, like… bread with fillings to make sandwiches. I NEVER, NEVER put any of it into my mouth. I knew if I did I would get violently sick.” </li></ul><ul><li>Sean Barron, 1992, There’s a Boy in Here: Emerging from the bonds of autism, Simon and Schuster </li></ul>
  30. 30. Unusual responses <ul><li>“ I pulled away when people tried to hug me, because being touched sent an overwhelming tidal wave of stimulation through my body. Small itches and scratches that most people ignored were torture.” </li></ul><ul><li>Temple Grandin </li></ul>
  31. 31. Savant ability <ul><li>Skills often found in areas such as: </li></ul><ul><li>music </li></ul><ul><li>art </li></ul><ul><li>mathematical calculations </li></ul><ul><li>calendrical calculation </li></ul><ul><li>Found in one in 10 people with an ASD </li></ul><ul><li>L Wing, 1996, Autistic Spectrum Disorder </li></ul>
  32. 32. Learning outcome <ul><li>You will understand the basics of creating an ASD-friendly learning environment </li></ul>Activity 4
  33. 33. Inclusion as a process <ul><li>“ Inclusion is the process of including and educating a pupil within a mainstream school, where the school is able to recognise and assess the pupil’s particular needs and is willing and able to be flexible in how the curriculum is delivered and to adapt the routines and physical environment the pupil is expected to operate within.” </li></ul><ul><li>Glenys Jones, 2002, Educational Provision for Children with Autism and Asperger Syndrome: Meeting their needs, David Fulton </li></ul>
  34. 34. Research indicators of effectiveness <ul><li>Structured and task-orientated programme addressing academic and social competence </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on communication and social skills </li></ul><ul><li>Explicit teacher intervention </li></ul><ul><li>Use of a range of strategies to improve skills and address undesirable behaviours </li></ul><ul><li>Patricia Howlin, 1998, Children with Autism and Asperger Syndrome: A guide for practitioners and carers, Wiley, Chichester </li></ul>
  35. 35. Visual thinking <ul><li>“ I visualise verbs… Adverbs often trigger inappropriate images… </li></ul><ul><li>For example, ‘He ran quickly’ triggers an animated image of Dick from the first grade reading books fast, and ‘He walked slowly’, slows the image down. As a child I left out words such as ‘is’, ‘the’, and ‘it’ because they had no meaning by themselves… </li></ul><ul><li>To this day certain verb conjugations, such as ‘to be’, are absolutely meaningless to me.” </li></ul><ul><li>Temple Grandin </li></ul>
  36. 36. Clarity and order <ul><li>Let students know where their attention needs to be directed by reducing extraneous and unnecessary material </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain a predictable physical environment: a place for everything and everything in its place </li></ul>
  37. 37. Low-arousal work areas <ul><li>Provide stimulus-free or distraction-reduced work areas </li></ul><ul><li>Limit visual disturbance in these areas </li></ul><ul><li>Where possible use sound reduction options, eg headphones </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure this is a ‘high-status’ option, eg by calling it a study area that all students can use </li></ul>
  38. 38. Learning outcome <ul><li>You will be able to identify and remove potential barriers for students with an ASD </li></ul>Activity 5
  39. 39. Visual systems <ul><li>May include objects, part objects, photographs, drawings, symbols or text </li></ul><ul><li>Use the means most appropriate to the child </li></ul><ul><li>Use simple text alongside other visual cues </li></ul>
  40. 40. Picture exchange communication system (PECS) Pictures used with the permission of Pyramid Educational Consultants UK, Ltd. All rights reserved. Pyramid Educational Consultants UK Ltd, Pavilion House, 6 Old Steine, Brighton, BN1 1EJ Tel: +44 (0)1273 609555 Fax: +44 (0)1273 609556 Coat Drink Crisps Dinner
  41. 41. Learning outcomes <ul><li>You will: </li></ul><ul><li>know the value of structured, predictable routines </li></ul><ul><li>be able to help students with an ASD to develop social understanding and cope with their feelings </li></ul>Activity 6
  42. 42. Examples of routines <ul><li>Start of day routines, eg calling the register </li></ul><ul><li>Getting out equipment and stowing coats/bags </li></ul><ul><li>Handing in homework </li></ul><ul><li>Agreed teacher signals, eg for attracting the attention of the class </li></ul><ul><li>End of lesson routines </li></ul>
  43. 43. <ul><li>“ Many of my problems can be sidestepped by pre-planning. Schedules are very important to me. I need to know well in advance what is going to happen, how, who is involved and so on. </li></ul><ul><li>Any change of plan leads to frustration, powerlessness, anger and anxiety… Being late causes difficulties, but so does being early, and people who leave earlier or later than planned also make me feel uncomfortable.” </li></ul><ul><li>Dominique Dumortier, 2004, From Another Planet: Autism from within, Paul Chapman </li></ul>
  44. 44. Example visual timer <ul><li>A small arrow (or pencil, ruler) is moved along a large arrow to show how much time is left </li></ul><ul><li>This example of a visual timer can be on the table in front of the student, or on the whiteboard </li></ul>start stop
  45. 45. Learning outcome <ul><li>You will be able to help students with an ASD to develop social understanding and cope with their feelings </li></ul>Activity 7
  46. 46. The role of the social-emotional curriculum <ul><li>“ For pupils with autism their future quality of life is… likely to depend on the degree to which they can learn to live with and understand others than solely on any academic skills they may possess.” </li></ul><ul><li>R Jordan and S Powell, 1995, Teaching and Understanding Children with Autism, Wiley </li></ul>
  47. 47. Developing emotional literacy <ul><li>Understand own </li></ul><ul><li>feelings: </li></ul><ul><li>name feelings </li></ul><ul><li>relate to experiences </li></ul><ul><li>predict feelings </li></ul><ul><li>regulate feelings </li></ul><ul><li>manage feelings </li></ul><ul><li>Recognise feelings </li></ul><ul><li>in others: </li></ul><ul><li>identify and name feelings in others </li></ul><ul><li>link to possible causes </li></ul><ul><li>identify appropriate responses </li></ul>
  48. 48. Frameworks for exploring feelings <ul><li>Develop a feelings diary or journal: “I feel (happy, sad, frightened, and so on) when I…” “When I feel (happy, sad, frightened, and so on) I can…” </li></ul><ul><li>Art and drama activities, including mask work, can help explore the physical aspects of particular emotions </li></ul><ul><li>Use resources, such as the software Kar2ouche: Social Communication, that allow students to ‘walk through’ situations that create particular emotions </li></ul>
  49. 49. Comparing happy and sad <ul><li>Sorting pictures, photographs, situations into happy and sad </li></ul><ul><li>Identifying happy and sad music </li></ul><ul><li>Role-play, eg students guess the feeling being acted out by a student through an activity (such as bouncing a ball) </li></ul>
  50. 50. Example of a visual gauge: degrees of anger upset calm irritated cross annoyed angry furious
  51. 51. Learning outcomes <ul><li>You will: </li></ul><ul><li>reflect on the session </li></ul><ul><li>identify key points of action for yourself </li></ul>Activity 8

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