The Basics of AutismSpectrum Disorders Training Series RAAC Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders Task Force
Adult Training Series Modules Module One: Autism Defined, Autism Prevalence and Primary Characteristics Module Two: Physical Characteristics of Autism Module Three: Cognition and Learning in Autism Module Four: Autism and Sensory Differences Module Five: Communication and Autism
Adult Training Series Modules Module Six: Behavior Challenges and Autism Module Seven: Understanding Behavior in Persons with Autism Module Eight: Functional Behavior Assessment Module Nine: Autism and Leisure Skills to Teach Module Ten: Special Issues of Adolescence and Adulthood Module Eleven: Safety and Autism
The next few slides will introduce some of thephysical challenges of people with ASD
Pain Differences Even if the person can talk, they may not be able to tell you when they are sick or in pain. The person may not seem to notice cuts or bruises or other injuries. The person may seem to be only slightly uncomfortable even with major injuries. The person may seem slightly ill even with a serious illness.
Possible Signs of PainThe person may have new behaviors that are different or unusual: They may be quieter than usual or may be very still. They may try to hurt or hit themselves. They may try to hurt someone else.
Big IdeaIf a person with ASD acts as if theydont feel well, pay very closeattention. Any sudden, dramaticchange in behavior should beconsidered a possible sign of pain orillness.
Stomach or Digestion Problems It is believed that up to 70% of all people with ASD have some type of stomach or digestion problems. Some people may have reflux or heartburn. Some people may have problems with constipation. Some people may have problems with frequent diarrhea.
Stomach or Digestion Problems If the person has stomach or digestion problems they may have behaviors because they are uncomfortable. They may not be able to tell you when their stomach hurts. - Sometimes the way to tell that the person has stomach pain is if they are bent over or have difficulty standing up straight when they are walking.
Eating Problems Some people with ASD are very picky eaters. Some reasons for being picky are: because they don’t like the way the food feels in their mouth. because the smell of the food may bother them. because they don’t like the sound the food makes when they chew it. because they have reflux and that makes them not want to eat.
Eating Problems ContinuedSome people with ASD seem to be always hungry. They may seem to be hungry because they don’t feel full even if they have eaten a lot of food. Some people may be hungry because of a medicine they are taking. Some people eat because they don’t have a lot of other things to do with their time.
Eating Problems ContinuedSome people eat things that are not food. This is called pica. This is a very dangerous behavior. The things they eat are things that we might think would taste awful. We don’t understand why they eat these things. Usually an expert is needed to work on this behavior. We need to watch the person carefully to keep them from eating these items.
Sleep ProblemsSome people with autism have a hard time sleeping. Some have a hard time falling asleep. Some wake up during the night. Some have severe sleep apnea that causes them to have a hard time breathing.
Sleep Problems Continued If they are awake at night, they may wander around. This can be dangerous. If they do not sleep at night, they may fall asleep during the day. They may be grouchy during the day because they are tired.
Ideas to Help with Sleep ProblemsBe sure to have a regular bedtime routine.Make sure that activities before bedtime are calming activities.Report sleep problems to their doctor because it may be a sign of illness.Sleep environment may affect the way they sleep (i.e. noise, light, temperature, bed clothing, etc.)
SeizuresSome people with ASD have seizures.Some people with ASD may not develop seizures until they are teenagers or adults.If a person has seizures and is on medicine to stop seizures, it is important that they always take their medication.If a seizure lasts for more five minutes you need to call 911.