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Autism Spectrum Disorder and Support Strategies

Autism Spectrum Disorder and Support Strategies

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Autism Spectrum Disorder and Support Strategies

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  1. Autism Spectrum Disorder and Support Strategies NSSED Opening Day August 20, 2012 Presented by: Jennifer Knudson

  2. Agenda • What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)? • What is new in ASD? • Unique learning characteristics of ASD • Strategies for establishing an environment and relationship conducive to learning and interacting • Intervention/Interaction Tips

  3. Autism Spectrum Disorder Neurological and physiological in nature Genetically based Lifelong impact - Developmental Disability Spectrum Disorder Incidence – 1/88 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) All racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups 5 time more in males (1/54) than females (1/252)

  4. Autism Developmental Continuum Measured I.Q. Severe Gifted Social Interaction Aloof Passive Active but Odd Communication Non-verbal Verbal Motor Skills Gross Awkward Agile Fine Uncoordinated Coordinated Sensory Hypo Hyper Kristin Swanson, 2008

  5. Understanding Uneven Development Academic skills: 12 years Language Development: 3-4 years Social/Emotional: 2-3 years Chronological Age: 10 years

  6. “If You Have Met One Person with AutismThen You Have Met OnePerson with Autism” -Stephen Shore, Ph.D. Boston University Autism Advocate Adult with ASD

  7. Proposed Changes to DSM-V Criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder… • Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction • Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities • Symptoms must be present in early childhood (but may not become fully manifest until social demands exceed limited capacities) • Symptoms together limit and impair everyday functioning Eliminating the PDD-NOS and Asperger Disorder diagnoses

  8. Proposed Criteria for New Diagnostic Classification of Social Communication Disorder… • Persistent difficulties in pragmatics or the social uses of verbal and nonverbal communication in naturalistic contexts • Persistent difficulties in the acquisition and use of spoken language, written language, and other modalities of language (e.g., sign language) for narrative, expository and conversational discourse • Rule out Autism Spectrum Disorder. Autism spectrum disorder by definition encompasses pragmatic communication problems, but also includes restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities • Symptoms must be present in early childhood • The low social communication abilities result in functional limitations in effective communication, social participation, academic achievement, or occupational performance, alone or in any combination.

  9. Unique Learning Characteristics • Social Development • Communication • Sensory • Need for Sameness • High Interest Areas

  10. Social Development • May not spontaneously share enjoyment • Socially awkward • May appear rude • Little/no eye contact • Abrupt • May not observe social conventions • Social reciprocity • Theory of mind

  11. Direct Social Skills Instruction • Daily social skills lessons • Small Groups • All staff use the same language • Students prompted to practice skills throughout the day

  12. Components of Social Skills • Identify and Express Emotions • Share enjoyment or activity with others (Joint Attention) • Conversational Skills • Perspective-Taking • Hidden Curriculum

  13. Temple Grandin on Mark Zuckerberg and Overcoming Autism

  14. Communication • Difficulty communicating thoughts and desires effectively • Tend to communicate for instrumental but not social reasons • May have large vocabularies, but fail to use words spontaneously or functionally • Struggle with all aspects of communication • Difficulty understanding non-literal or abstract language

  15. Communication • Teachers and students with autism must have a back-up communication system that is different than words - even when the students are verbal • Can’t be more words, louder words, words with a threat, or words with a reward

  16. Individual Daily Schedules

  17. Student Schedule: Mini-schedules to support anxiety

  18. Written To Do List: Mini Schedule • Define the beginning and end of an activity • Help predict upcoming events, activities and interactions • Assist in making smooth transitions

  19. Social Stories

  20. If the words aren’t available… I’m still thinking. Repeat the question. I need help with this one.

  21. Sensory Issues Many students with Autism and Aspergers Syndrome have sensory issues. Hypersensitive Hypersensitive -- Extremely sensitive Hyposensitive -- Weak or Non-existent Average Hyposensitive

  22. Sensory Issues Hypersensitive Hyposensitive May get hurt and not realize it May drop things and not realize Hard time discriminating objects by touch • Overly sensitive to being touched • May strike out to insure others don’t get too close • Hard time tolerating chairs (may squirm, move) • Hard time with close proximity • May be choosy about fabric, texture, foods • May have a hard time bathing or with haircuts

  23. Sensory Strategies • Offer alternatives and supports when possible: • Alternative lighting • Alternative seating • Gum or Mints to block smells • Alternative work postures • Headphones, earphones, earplugs • Fidget Objects (binder clips, pens, erasers, paper clip) • Heavy Work

  24. Some sensory strategies that may help students: • Therapy ball/ball chair • Body sock • Support for sitting on the floor • Theraputty/Silly Putty • Weighted vests/blankets • Mini-trampolines • “Fidgits” • Move ‘N Sit

  25. Arousal Level • Heart rate studies • Self-calming • Implications for students with autism • Exercise can be effective in reducing stress

  26. Stress Reduction Exercise • Daily practice, Embedded in routine • Staff then able to prompt stress reducing strategies later • Strategies can be modified to be age appropriate.

  27. Movement Breaks Increase Heart Rate Regularly Scheduled: • Running/Jogging • Jump Rope • Scheduled Workout • Exercise Bike • Running/Walking Stairs

  28. Calming Breaks Relax the Body Reinforcement for work: • Read in quiet/private place • Carry Heavy Objects on an Errand • Listen to Music • Puzzles/Interest Areas

  29. Need for Sameness • Prefer routines and sameness • Tend to be rigid and inflexible • Repetitive behaviors • Routines develop VERY quickly • Prompt dependency • Intense/idiosyncratic interests

  30. Intense Interests Drawing Bad Weather Things that spin Computer Facts

  31. Incorporate Special Interests • Embed special interests within work • Research on special topics • Stickers with preferred characters • Pencils with preferred characters • Books on preferred topics

  32. Intervention/Interaction Tips Checklist • Be predictable • Follow Routine • Learn and discuss their high interest areas • Be the source of information they need (provide it visually if possible) • Provide meaningful positive reinforcement • Don’t take it personally; teach student to repair a problem or hurt feelings Systematic Intervention = Positive Relationship with Student