School training module eighteen, safety and autism
The Basics of AutismSpectrum Disorders Training Series Regional Autism Advisory Council of Southwest Ohio (RAAC-SWO) RAAC Training Committee 2011
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: Getting the Student Ready to Learn Module Five: Structuring the Classroom Environment Module Six: Using Reinforcement in the Classroom
Training Series ModulesModule Seven: Autism and Sensory DifferencesModule Eight: Sensory in the ClassroomModule Nine: Communication and AutismModule Ten: Communication in the ClassroomModule Eleven: Behavior Challenges and AutismModule Twelve: Understanding Behavior inStudents with Autism
Training Series Modules Module Thirteen: Social Skills in the School Environment Module Fourteen: Functional Behavior Assessment Module Fifteen: Working Together as a Team Module Sixteen: Autism and Leisure Skills to Teach Module Seventeen: Special Issues of Adolescence Module Eighteen: Safety and Autism Module Nineteen: Special Issues: High School, Transition, and Job Readiness
SafetyEmergencies: Because students with ASD can look like everyone else, police and other emergency responders may expect answers to questions that the student is not able to give (for example, giving their name). Some behaviors can be misunderstood (for example, reaching to touch the officer’s badge).
SafetyEmergencies: Because students with ASD may have low muscle tone, emergency responders should never restrain the person by placing on his/her stomach. This type of restraint has caused death.
SafetyDangerous situations: The student may be drawn to materials such as matches and other dangerous items. Wandering off may be a problem. The student may not know how to move around in traffic, such as safely crossing the street. The student may not understand the danger of going off with a stranger.
Big IdeaA student with ASD may notrecognize a dangerous situation.
Safety Strategies Families should be encouraged to get to know their neighbors. Also, families should get to know nearby public safety agencies, police, fire department, and other emergency responders. Suggest to families that they consider notifying them that a child with ASD lives in the home including where they sleep and other special needs. If school staff is in the community with someone with ASD, they should carry/wear identification.
Safety Strategies: IdentificationThe student with ASD should carry identification at all times.The student should practice showing their identification.The student should wear a medical alert bracelet/Identification bracelet.Identification information should say that the student may not be able to speak or may be too frightened to answer questions in an emergency.
Safety and ASD: Strategies at Home At home, door alarms may be helpful to make sure the child doesn’t leave the house without your knowledge. If the child with ASD has dietary restrictions, refrigerator locks and cabinet locks may be needed. (Special permission is necessary for this.) Removable stove knobs may be helpful if the child with ASD isn’t aware of the danger of burning themselves. Cleaning supplies and other dangerous products may need to be locked up.
Safety and ASD: In the Community Autism decals for car windows are available to make sure that in case of an emergency, responders know that there is a passenger with ASD in the vehicle. (contact www.autismcincy.org). Many people with ASD are attracted to water. Swimming lessons are helpful to make sure the student is water safe.
Behavior and Safety When possible, be prepared for situations that could lead to behavior difficulties. Know the early signs of a problem behavior. Have a plan for when problems occur. Get to know the people who work in the places you go to frequently in the community so they can be helpful in an emergency.
Abuse and Neglect Nationally, individuals with developmental disabilities are 4-10 times more likely to be victims of crime than those without disabilities. Children with disabilities are 1.7 times more likely to be abused or neglected than children without disabilities. It is believed that these numbers may be much higher as many cases of abuse and neglect are never reported. Many student with autism are not verbal or cannot articulate their needs to others. This makes them at even higher risk for abuse and neglect.
AbuseAbusive treatment is:Physical abuse by inflicting pain or injury to aperson, including hitting, kicking, pinching, slapping,pulling hair, or any sexual abuse.Emotional abuse which includes ridiculing ordemeaning an individual, making derogatory remarks orcursing directed to the individual.Programmatic abuse by use of aversive stimulimethods not approved by the individual’s behavior planthat includes use of isolation and restraint.
NeglectNeglect is:Intentional lack of attention to physical needs ofindividuals such as toileting, bathing, meals, and safety.Intentional failure to report health problems orchanges in health conditions.Intentional failure to carry out prescribedtreatment plan for individual.
Reporting Abuse and Neglect School teachers are mandatory reporters for abuse and neglect. That means that they must report suspicion of abuse and neglect to their local child welfare authorities. The role of the teacher is not to investigate any questionable sign of abuse, but based on credible signs, they must report it. It is important for all school personnel to know their school district’s policy about reporting requirements and reporting processes within the school and follow them. The first step in helping abused or neglected students is learning to recognize the signs of child abuse or neglect. The presence of a single sign does not prove child abuse is occurring, but a closer look at the situation may be warranted when these signs appear repeatedly or in combination.
Some Signs of Abuse or Neglect Abuse NeglectShows sudden changes in behavior Is frequently absent from school.that cannot be explained by otherfactors. Lacks needed medical or dental care, immunizations, or glasses.Has unexplained burns, bites,bruises, broken bones, or black eyes. Consistently dirty and has severe hygiene issues.Has fading bruises or other marksafter absence from school. Lacks sufficient clothing for the weather.Seems frightened of parents orprotest or cries when time to go home. States that no one is home to provide care.Shrinks at the approach of adults. Steals food or money.
Big IdeaGet to know the warning signs and payattention to changes in behavior. Get other team members input. Do not wait overly long to act, as small problems can move to bigger ones, and always keep data to document changes.