The Basics of AutismSpectrum Disorders p Training Series Regional Autism Advisory Council of Southwest Ohio (RAAC SWO) (RAAC-SWO) Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders Task Force
Adult Training Series g ModulesModule One: Autism Defined, Autism Prevalence andPrimary CharacteristicsModule Two: Physical Characteristics of AutismModule Three: Cognition and Learning in AutismModule Four: Autism and Sensory Differences yModule Five: Communication and Autism
Adult Training Series g ModulesModule Six: B h i Ch llM d l Si Behavior Challenges and A ti d AutismModule Seven: Understanding Behavior in Personswith A i i h AutismModule Eight: Functional Behavior AssessmentModule Nine: Autism and Leisure Skills to TeachModule Ten: Special Issues of Adolescence andAdulthoodModule Eleven: Safety and Autism
Challenges of Adolescence and Adulthood: Behavior lBehavior: Generally adults with ASD do not acquire new behavior problems but old ones may reappear. During adolescence there may be an increase in aggressive behaviors. ggr r . Adults with ASD are more likely to have behavior problems than many other people with developmental disabilities. disabilities
Challenges of Adolescence and Adulthood: Anxiety• Anxiety often gets worse as the person gets older older.• A quiet time or a quieting routine may be helpful if anxiety seems high high.• Teach relaxation exercises as part of the daily routine.• Let them know when there are changes in schedule or activities.• M di i Medications f anxiety may b prescribed. for i be ib d• Physical exercise may be calming.
Challenges of Adolescence and Ad lth d:Ch ll n f Ad l n nd Adulthood: Sexuality Some behaviors may be seen as sexually inappropriate even if the person didn’t intend f i i t th did ’t i t d for them to be. For F example, the person with ASD may not l h i h understand how staring, undoing pants on the way to the bathroom, leaving the bathroom door open, , g p , staring in windows, saying inappropriate things bothers others. We will have to teach behaviors that are acceptable.
Autism and SexualitySex and sexuality is a hard topic, especially related to y p p yindividuals with ASD, and one that we might rather avoid.Sexuality is an integral part of the personality of everyone.Avoiding discussion and active teaching about sexuality canhurt individuals in the long-term if it is not addressed openlyand honestly.As with other social skills or interactions, the individual withautism is not going to learn the cultural rules or norms aboutsex without being directly instructed. h b d l dProgram staff need to be in partnership with family membersas sexuality issues are addressed addressed.
Big IdeaInappropriate sexual behavior needs tobe treated as we would any otherbehavior. We need to be matter-of-fact matter of factwhen dealing with these behaviors. Weneed to teach appropriate behavior. pp p
Myths About Sexuality andthe Individual with AutismPersons with ASD have little or no interestin sexuality.Persons with ASD are hypersexual or have hypersexual,an higher than normal interest in sex.Persons with ASD are solely heterosexual.P ith l l h t l
The Truth Is….. IsPersons with ASD are sexual beings, as are all of us. g ,Individuals with ASD may have sexual feelings that areout-of-sync with their level of social development and y pawareness.As individuals with au s g o o de , their soc a a d s d dua s autism grow older, e social andsexual skills sets are likely to show a wider differencefrom their chronological age and appearance.Other people will base their expectations on theirchronological age, NOT their developmental age.
Guidelines to Teaching g SexualityThink h d d bThi k ahead and be proactive. Do not wait until th ti D t it til theindividual demonstrates an “inappropriate” sexualbehavior.Be concrete.Be serious, calm, and supportive.Break larger areas of information into smaller, moremanageable ideas.Be consistent and be repetitive.
Big IdeaSexuality Education increases thelikelihood that people with disabilitieswill either have the skills to staysafe, or will be more likely to reportvictimization after it occurs occurs.
Challenges of Adolescence and Adulthood: g MedicationsThere is no “Autism” medicine.Medicine is used to target specificsymptoms.Doctors may use a trial and errorapproach to find the right medicine and thecorrect dose.
Challenges of Adolescence and Adulthood: MedicationsSymptoms that are sometimes targeted: Obsessive-compulsive Obsessive compulsive behaviors Anxiety Aggression Seizures Hyperactivity/Attention
Big IdeaYou need to clearly describe thesymptoms in order to help thedoctor know how to treat theproblem.
Challenges of Adolescence and Adulthood: Regular Ch k Ad l h d R l Check-upsThe person with ASD needs regular medical check-ups.Vaccinations need to be up-to-date.Blood pressure needs to be checked yearly (moreoften if the person has a blood pressure problem).Weight needs to be checked regularly to make surethere are no rapid weight gains or losses.
Challenges of Adolescence and g Adulthood: Regular Check-upsWomen need to have yearly visits with thegynecologist.Regular dental check-ups are important. Special g p p parrangements may have to be made for these visits.Procedures like drawing blood or medical tests may g yneed special planning.
Challenges of Adolescence andAdulthood: E d l h d Everyday Precautions d PSkin should be examined for unusual growths ormoles (make sure the person wears sunscreen).Any changes in bowel or bladder habits should bereported.Listen for loud snoring and gasping for breathduring sleep. Many people with ASD have sleepapnea.apnea This may need to be treated treated.
Big IdeaPeople with ASD will experience many oftheth problems of aging th t we all face. bl f i that ll fThe challenge is that they may not beable to tell us about the symptoms they bl t t ll b t th t thare experiencing.
Challenges of Adolescence and Adulthood: Physical Activity l lSome people with ASD may not be self-motivated by p p y f yphysical exercise but may be motivated by afavorite activity.The person may like certain activities such asswimming, horseback riding, Karate.A daily walking program could provide necessaryphysical activity.
Big Idea Bi Id Physical activity isnecessary for a healthy y y life style.