Aspergers Syndrome by Steve Vitto

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

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Aspergers Syndrome by Steve Vitto

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

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