The Basics of AutismSpectrum Disorders Training Series Regional Autism Advisory Council of Southwest Ohio (RAAC-SWO) Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders Task Force
Adult Training Series g ModulesModule One: Autism Defined, Autism Prevalenceand Primary CharacteristicsModule Two: Physical Characteristics of AutismModule ThM dul Three: Cognition and Learning in Autism : C niti n nd L ninModule Four: Autism and Sensory DifferencesModule Five: Communication and Autism
Adult Training Series ModulesModule Six: Behavior Challenges and AutismModule Seven: Understanding Behavior in Persons gwith AutismModule Eight: Functional Behavior Assessment gModule Nine: Autism and Leisure Skills to TeachModule TM d l Ten: Special Issues of Ad l S i lI f Adolescence and dAdulthoodModule Eleven: S f t and A tiM d l El Safety d Autism
Behavior CharacteristicsPeople with ASD do not all behave the same. They p yhave differences based on their communication, socialskills, ability to cope, and their environment.The following slides will describe four categories ofbehavior: Social Interaction S i lI t ti Activity Level Repetitive B h i R i i Behaviors Aggression
Big Bi IdeaTheTh goal is not for us to change the l tf st h th person, but to improve their ability to interact with and participate in their world.
Strategies for Social g InteractionSome people ithS m p pl with ASD do not lik it if d n t likesomeone is too close to them. It may behelpful to let the person know that youare approaching them.Some people with ASD like to “peoplewatch,” or be around people, but not haveto i interact with them. i h h
Strategies for Social g InteractionSome people with ASD do not mindothers being nearby, they just ignore g y, yj gthem. You may have to explain this toothers so that they do not get their y gfeelings hurtEncourage,Encourage but do not force the personwith ASD to interact.
Strategies for Social InteractionBe aware of safety concerns f p f f y for persons with ASD. Some people with ASD “never see a stranger.” They talk to or they are over-friendly with people h lk h f dl h l that they don’t know. They may be at risk if a person wants to take advantage of them. It can be difficult to teach a person with ASD who is and who is not a “safe” person.
Strategies for Under- ActivityIt is important to help the person establish an p p p exercise routine:In general, activity level decreases duringadolescence. d lLack of exercise may result in weight gain.Use of a picture schedule may help with an exerciseroutine.Just like most people, people with ASD needmotivators to exercise.
Repetitive Behaviors p ExplainedPersons with ASD may have certain behaviors thatthey do over and over again. Often these arephysical behaviors, such as hand flapping, rocking,finger flicking, or a repeated sound.These behaviors may happen because of a sensoryneed (see Module Four).These repetitive behaviors may occur more oftenwhen the person is upset, anxious, or when they arenot busy.
Strategies for Addressing Repetitive B h i R titi BehaviorsBeB aware th t down or free time often l d to the that d f ti ft leads t thperson engaging in these behaviors.Help hH l the person find things that they can d during fi d hi h h do d idown time.There are times that you may want to give theTh i h i hperson something else to do that limits their use ofthe repetitive behavior (i.e. if they flap arms, give p ( y p ,gthem something to carry when they are out in thecommunity).
Challenging BehaviorChallenging behavior can include both physically and verbally aggressive behaviors. None Frequent
Challenging Behavior May Be the Result Of*…… l Difficulty Diffi lt expressing b i wants, needs and f li i basic t d d feelings. Not knowing how to ask for help or how to get someone’s attention. attention Appearing to understand directions even when they don’t. We may think they are being uncooperative uncooperative. Difficulty understanding explanations, reassurance or instructions.*Adapted from Nancy Dalrymple’s Helping Children with Autism Learn to “Behave”
Challenging Behavior May Be the g g y Result of….. Difficulty understanding social rules or social interaction. Difficulty understanding the viewpoint and motives of others. Need for longer than usual time to process, organize, and retrieve information. Dependence on routines and not coping when events are out of order. Limited Li it d number of interests and activities. b fi t sts d ti iti s Sensory overload.
Challenging Behavior May Be the g g y Result Of… Unusual fears about harmless objects or situations. No fear of real dangers. Lack f l L k of sleep. Physical discomfort due to y gastrointestinal or other medical problems.
Strategies for Addressing g g Challenging BehaviorsWe must first understand the reason behind thebehavior (refer to Module Eight).It is very important that the individual with ASD hasa way to communicate so that others can easilyunderstand them.Be sure they understand what you are saying. Justbecause the person can talk, they still may not beable to understand you.Check out, and rule out, any medical reasons for abehavior ( i.e. heartburn, localized pain).
More Strategies Strategies…..TheTh problem could b something i the bl ld be hi in henvironment (sensory) that needs to bechanged.changedGive the person time to follow instructions.New places and things can be hard.Gradually introduce new people, places, and y p p ,p ,things whenever possible.
Even More Strategies Strategies….Change is very hard. Prepare the person forchange. Practice change. It helps to break atask intot k i t small steps. ll tTeach new skills or new things in many g ydifferent settings with different people.Be aware of your own behavior and how yourmood or behaviors can influence a personwith ASD.
Big Idea Bi IdWe must first understand why a behavior happens before we can change it.