AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDERLindsey LangerMichigan State UniversityCEP 841Summer Semester 2012
PROBLEM STATEMENT Autism has become the most prevalent childhood development disorder in the United States.(**12) More children will be diagnosed with autism this year than AIDS, diabetes and cancer combined. (**3) According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention: In the 1990’s, CDC found 1 in 10,000 people to be on the autism spectrum. In 2012 it has risen to 1 in 88. This increase can partly be explained by improved diagnosis and awareness. (**3) In 2005, more than 160,000 school-aged children were diagnosed with ASD in the United States. (**4) (**#) = resource See: Works Cited Page
PROBLEM STATEMENT CONTD. Boys are four times more likely to to be diagnosed with Autism than girls. Not enough evidence to link autism to any one specific factor. There is currently no known cause or cure for Autism. Early intervention is critical It is believed that there are characteristics of the disorder that are too late to be treated by as young as 36 months old (**8) ASD impairs the ability to communicate, socialize and form relationships with people of any age. Appears in a very wide range (from low to high) of symptoms and verbal and intellectual capacities (**5)
DEFINITION/DESCRIPTION ASD is a term that encompasses a range of disorders from high functioning with a mild disorder, to low functioning with a severe disorder. The different symptoms and different ranges of abilities fit in under an umbrella of categories known as the Autism Spectrum Disorder.
AUTISTIC DISORDER Autistic Disorder is the most Speech developing more slowly, if severe form of ASD at all avoiding eye contact, echoing words or phrases, As defined by the Autism Society hypersensitivity, of America, Autism is a complex insisting on routines being the developmental disability that same, typically appears during the first self-injurious, three years of life and is the result of a neurological disorder that inappropriate laughing, affects the normal functioning of repetitive play and movements the brain, impacting development movements such as hand flapping or drawing the same thing over and in the areas of social interaction over again, and communication skills. Both prefer to be by him/herself, children and adults with autism overall difficulty interacting with typically show difficulties in verbal others and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities. Some characteristics may include, but are not limited to:
ASPERGER’S DISORDER Often thought of as a high-functioning form of autism, Asperger’s syndrome has many of the same characteristics as autism but without the delay in language. Unlike in autism, people with Asperger’s Syndrome do not shy away from communicating with other people; they have a rich vocabulary and strong cognitive skills. However, their problems with social interactions and obsessions often lead people with Asperger’s to have trouble forming relationships. Individuals have an obsessive interest with a specific object or set of objects (i.e. weather, cars, bugs) They may not understand sarcasm or humor, have unusual body language and have difficulty making eye contact.
CHILDHOOD DISINTEGRATIVE DISORDER ANDRETT’S DISORDER Childhood Disintegrative Disorder and Rett’s disorder are both very uncommon forms of ASD that include devloping normally at first followed by a slowing or regression in development. Childhood Disintegrative Disorder “is a condition in which children develop normally through age 3 or 4. Then, over a few months, children lose language, motor, social, and other skills that they already learned.” (**13) Rett’s Disorder is “a neurodevelopmenaldisorder that affects girls almost exclusively. It is characterized by normal early growth and development followed by a slowing of development, loss of purposeful use of the hands, distinctive hand movements, slowed brain and head growth, problems with walking, seizures, and intellectual disability.” (**10)
PERVASIVE DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDER –NOT OTHERWISE SPECIFIED (PDD-NOS) PDD – NOS is a term used for “children or adults who are on the autism spectrum but do not fully meet the criteria for another ASD.” (**3) The symptoms resemble a mild case of autism disorder meaning that the individual may have some, but not all, of the characteristics of autism. Studies suggest that PDD – NOS can be characterized into 3 very different subgroups: 1. A high-functioning group (around 25 percent) whose symptoms largely overlap with that of Asperger syndrome, but who differ in terms of having a lag in language development and mild cognitive impairment. 2. A second group (around 25 percent) whose symptoms more closely resemble those of autistic disorder, but do not fully meet all its diagnostic signs and symptoms. 3. A third group (around 50 percent) who meet all the diagnostic criteria for autistic disorder, but whose stereotypical and repetitive behaviors are noticeably mild. (**3)
EARLY WARNING SIGNS Researchers believe it is possible for a child as early as 1 to be diagnosed with an ASD. By diagnosing early, children can get early support and interventions. Some “red flags” to watch for are: “No big smiles or other warm, joyful expressions by six months. No back-and-forth sharing of sounds, smiles, or other facial expressions by nine months. No babbling by 12 months. No back-and-forth gestures, such as pointing, showing, reaching, or waving by 12 months. No words by 16 months. No two-word meaningful phrases (without imitating or repeating) by 24 months. Any loss of speech or babbling or social skills at any age” (**9)
PREVALENCE OF ASD ASD has become an “epidemic” because more children are being identified as having ASDs than ever before. (**7) According to the CDC, as of 2012, 1 in 88 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder. Are the numbers really on the rise? It is difficult to tell for 2 reasons: 1. There is still no blood test or brain scan to diagnose ASD. It is only characterized by a person’s behavior. 2. The data only counts people who are already diagnosed, while many children are undiagnosed through adulthood. (**1)
CAUSES AND RISK FACTORS There are no known cures for ASD and there are multiple causes for the different types of ASD. There are many different factors that could increase the likeliness of a child having an ASD: Having specific genes can increase the risk of a child being born with an ASD. Many children with genetic or chromosomal conditions such as Down Syndrome and Fragile X Syndrome are often identified as having an ASD. Children who have a sibling or parent with an ASD are at a higher risk. Some prescription drugs during pregnancy have been linked to a greater chance of the child having an ASD. There is no conclusive evidence of vaccines causing autism. Some evidence suggests that the critical period for developing an ASD happens before birth. (**7)
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP STUDENTS WITHASD IN MY CLASSROOM? Remember that no two students with an ASD are the same. Accommodations you do for one student may not be the same accommodations you should use with another student just because they are both on the spectrum. Some things to consider when teaching a student with an ASD: Model skills, behaviors and strategies. Keep the day to day activities and routines as predictable as possible. When changes in the routine must happen, explain to the child why and what to expect. Provide breaks Teach the “hidden curriculum” and social skills often and explicitly. Use picture cues. Do not use sarcasm, be direct when speaking. contd.
WHAT CAN I DO TO HELP STUDENTS WITHASD IN MY CLASSROOM? CONTD. Some things to consider when teaching a student with an ASD contd.: Give extra time for the student to complete a task. Differ in the ways you give instruction. Some students on the spectrum are visual learners and others may be kinesthetic learners. It is likely that an ASD student will lean very heavily to one specific learning style. Reduce the number of problems or items the student is expected to complete. Students with an ASD often find it redundant and pointless to do the same type of math problem over and over. Allow student to demonstrate understanding in a variety of ways. Instead of having the student write a response, give options for typing the response, orally responding or illustrate a response. Designate an area where the student can pace, stand, walk etc. at any time and not distract others. Designate an area or place where the student can go to calm down. Students with an ASD often feel over-stimulated and need a quiet place.
ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGIES Research has shown that students with ASD benefit immensely from the use of assistive technology, or AT. Some basic AT that may be useful in the classroom are: Specialized writing paper and tools Writing tool grips Tape recorders Text-to-Speech and Speech-to-Text software Computers Visual schedules Checklists Timers iPad (there are MANY apps geared specifically for children with autism) Bubble seats/exercise ball Noise-cancelling head phones
PARENTS AND FAMILIES OF CHILDREN WITHASD The best thing for an child with ASD is for the school and parents to work together. Become knowledgeable about your child’s disorder and the needs of your child in particular. Become active in the education of your child and aware of what you can do at home to help your child’s development. Get involved in the autism community: find other families you can relate to and who understand what you’re going through. (**6)
SUMMARY ASD is a term that encompasses an umbrella of disorders ranging from high functioning to low functioning. Autism has become an “epidemic” with a child being diagnosed with autism in the united states every 16 minutes. Boys being four times more likely to have an ASD than girls. Early detection is important to receive the support and interventions needed to help development from a young age. Children as young as 12 months old can be diagnosed. It is not 100% clear on the causes or risk factors of ASD though it is believed that specific genes and chromosomes can increase the risk. Teachers and parents need to work together to create a consistent and accommodating environment for the student to thrive.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES - BOOKS Attwood, T. (1998). Aspergers syndrome, a guide for parents and professionals. Jessica Kingsley Pub. This book provides professionals and parents with information on characteristics, strategies, identification, treatments and care of children and adults with Asperger’s syndrome. Notbohm, E., &Zysk, V. (2006). Ten things your student with autism wishes you knew. Future Horizons Inc. A book for educators that gives an insight and understanding of autism through the child’s eyes. Learning styles, communication advice and achievement is discussed Wiseman, N. D. (2009). The first year: Autism spectrum disorders. (2009 ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Da Capo Press: A Member of the Perseus Books Group. A parent’s guide that gives information on medical and lifestyle concerns, and how to work with the educational system.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES - WEBSITES Autism Internet Modules. (2012). Retrieved July 23, 2012 from http://www.autisminternetmodules.org/ Modules that walk you through up-to-date information about autism for educators, professionals and families. Autism Speaks. (2012). Autism and your family. Retrieved July 23, 2012 from http://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/autism-your-family Information and tips for families with autistic children. BBC. (2011). My Autism and Me. Retrieved July 23, 2012 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FeGaffIJvHM&feature=player_embedd ed A BBC video about what it is like to live with autism, narrated by a young girl with autism. What you ought to know. (2008) Autism. Retrieved July 23, 2012 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TL5GHMEjzt8&feature=player_embed ded A video discussing the characteristics of autism.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES - JOURNALS Johnson, C. P., & Myers, S. M. (2007). Identification and evaluation of children with autism spectrum disorders.American Academy of Pediatrics, 120(5), 1183-1215. Retrieved from http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/120/5/1183.full?sid=9afdffff- c580-4bde-86d2-018f4e429f9e Myers, S. M., & Johnson , C. P. (2007). Management of children with autism spectrum disorders.American Academy of Pediatrics, 120(5), 1162-1182. Retrieved from http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/120/5/1162.full?sid=9afdffff- c580-4bde-86d2-018f4e429f9e Shattuck, P. T., Narendorf, S. C., Cooper, B., Sterzing, P. R., Wagner, M., & Taylor, J. L. (2012). Postsecondary education and employment among youth with an autism spectrum disorder. American Academy of Pediatrics, 129(6), 1042-1049. Retrieved from http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/129/6/1042.full?sid=9afdffff- c580-4bde-86d2-018f4e429f9e
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES –NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS Autism Society 4340 East-West Hwy, Suite 350, Bethesda, Maryland 20814 (800) 328 – 8476 http://www.autism-society.org/ National Autism Center 41 Pacella Park Drive, Randolph, MA 02368 (877) 313 – 3833 http://www.nationalautismcenter.org/about/contact_us.php National Autism Association 20 Alice Agnew Drive, Attleboro Falls, MA 02763 (877) 622 – 2884 http://nationalautismassociation.org/about-naa/contact-naa/
WORKS CITED1. Anderson, Connie. (2010). Careful Counting: How Many People Have an ASD? Retrieved July 23, 2012 from http://www.iancommunity.org/cs/understanding_research/prevalence2. Athletes for Autism (2012). Retrieved July 23, 2012 from http://www.beatautism.org/AboutAutism.asp3. Autism Speaks. (2012) Retrieved July 23, 2012, from http://www.autismspeaks.org/?utm_source=autismspeaks.org&utm_me dium=web&utm_campaign=primarymenu4. Autism Web. (2012). A parent’s guide to autism spectrum disorders. Retrieved July 23, 2012 from http://www.autismweb.com/5. Batchelder, Lisa. (2000). Brain Connection: Autism in the Classroom. Retrieved July 23, 2012, from http://brainconnection.positscience.com/topics/?main=fa/autism-class6. Blogging for Autism (2010). Parental Involvement. Retrieve July 23, 2012 from http://www.bloggingforautism.com/2010/11/7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012). Retrieved July 23, 2012 from http://www.cdc.gov/
WORKS CITED CONTD.8. Edutopia. (2008). Educators Deal with the Growing Problem of Autism. Retrieved July 23, 2012, from http://www.edutopia.org/autism-school9. First Signs Inc. (2012). Retrieved July 23, 2012 from https://www.firstsigns.org/index.html10. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. (2011). Rett Syndrome Fact Sheet. Retrieved July 23, 2012, from http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/rett/detail_rett.htm11. Shore, Stephen M. (2012). Nine Domains of Accommodation. Retrieved July 23, 2012 from http://www.autism.com/index.php/treat_edu_plans12. The Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center. (2012). Retrieved July 23, 2012, from http://autismcenter.org/default.aspx.13. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2010). Childhood disintegrative disorder. Retrieved July 23, 2012, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002502/