Putting All the Pieces Together: Understanding this Puzzle Called Autism

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Putting All the Pieces Together: Understanding this Puzzle Called Autism. What Does Autism Look Like?. Challenges With Social Interaction Problems interpreting nonverbal language Difficulty with pretend play Rigid adherence to rules Poor eye gaze or avoidance of eye contact - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Putting All the Pieces Together: Understanding this Puzzle Called AutismWhat Does Autism Look Like?Challenges With Social InteractionProblems interpreting nonverbal languageDifficulty with pretend playRigid adherence to rulesPoor eye gaze or avoidance of eye contactFew facial expressions and trouble understanding the facial expressions of othersPoor judge of personal space may stand too close to other studentsTrouble controlling emotions and anxietiesDifficulty understanding another persons perspective or how their behavior affects othersWhat Does Autism Look Like?Communication ChallengesOften delayed in expressive and receptive language; may not speak at allVery literal understanding of speech; difficulty in picking up nuancesEcholalia may repeat last words heard without regard for meaningLack of pretend playWhat Does Autism Look Like?Behavior DifferencesUnusually intense or restricted interests in things (maps, dates, coins, numbers/statistics, train schedules)Unusual repetitive behavior, verbal as well as nonverbal (hand flapping, rocking)Unusual sensitivity to sensations may be more or less than typical studentsDifficulty with transitions, need for samenessPossible aggressive, disruptive, or self-injurious behavior; unaware of possible dangers

Six-Step PlanStep One: Educate Yourself

Six-Step PlanStep Two: Reach Out to the Parents

Six-Step PlanStep Three: Prepare the Classroom

Need for SamenessDefine classroom area. Create individual work areas, free time areas, open areas for discussion, etc.Keep classroom consistently organizedChoose designated seat for studentKeep daily schedule in one place in the classroomDevelop a visual agenda to help the student understand the agenda in advance

Problematic or Acting-Out BehaviorIdentify a home base to escape classroom stimulation for a while

Home Base or Cool ZoneA home base is a place in the school where student can go to escape the over-stimulation of the classroom (Not a time-out or a punishment)Work goes with the student to Home BaseMay be scheduled or occur on an as-needed basisMay be used for taking tests 142010WV Autism Training CenterHome Base, Cool Zone or Hot Pass CardA visual cue that helps prompt student to go to home base

Everyone in the school knows the student has one

Used in conjunction with other visual supports, as needed 152010WV Autism Training CenterHome Base at the Start of the DayPreview the scheduleOverview any changes in the routinePriming for activitiesAllow time for transition from bus to schoolEnsure that materials are organizedSupport social skills instruction

162010WV Autism Training CenterHome Base at the End of the DayReview homework assignmentsMake sure student has materials needed for homeworkReview any social concerns of the dayOverview any changes in the routine for the next dayPriming for activitiesAllow time for transition from school to bus

172010WV Autism Training CenterEasily Distracted By Sights and SoundsSeat student in low traffic area of classroomUse carpetingFace desks away from windows/doorsTeach student when he or she can and cannot use computer (cover when not in use)Seat students away from toys and booksHelp child to learn how to handle distractions over timeSensitivity to TouchAvoid touching student initiallyTeach tolerance to touch

Sensitivity to SmellsAvoid using perfumes or heavy lotionsSeat student near open door or open window in rooms with strong smells (art room)Ask custodian to order and use unscented cleaning suppliesSensitivity to SoundsMove student away from soundsUse soft voice when possibleHave student use earplugs or headphones (when appropriate)Install carpeting or carpet remnantsPut material under desk legsPrepare student for sound (before bell rings, fire drills)Gradually teach tolerance to soundsSensitivity to LightLower levels of lightTurn off overhead lightsTry different colors of lightHave student use sunglasses or baseball capMove students seat from reflections on wallUse bulbs that do not flickerSix-Step PlanStep Four: Educate Peers and Promote Social Goals

Teaching PointsChildren with autism are first and foremost children, they are like your typical students in many waysThey experience the world very differently. Sights, sounds, tastes and feelings that seem normal to us might be scary and overwhelming for a child with autism. Conversely, they may not recognize danger or experience fear like your typically developing students doChildren with autism need and want friendsUnderstanding autism is the key to creating connectionsChildren with autism have their own way of communicating its almost like a different languageAutism is NOT contagious; no one catches it. Nor does anyone die from having autismChildren with autism do have feelings and often understand more than they can express. No one should ever tease or make fun of someone with autismWhen a child with autism feels included, everyone in the classroom can learn and grow!

Six-Step PlanStep Five: Collaborate on the Implementation of an Educational Program

Six-Step PlanStep Six: Manage Behavioral Challenges

The most important thing you can to help reduce the frequency and intensity of challenging behaviors is to decipher the cause and learn to distinguish the childs behavior stemming from autism from the deliberate misbehavior requiring disciplinary actionEffective Teacher CharacteristicsKnowledge of characteristicsDevelops a sense of trust with studentAccepts student as he or she isEnjoys working with student and expresses itModels enthusiasmProvides non-threatening feedbackListens to student, analyzes needs and adapts curriculumReacts calmly to all students

272010WV Autism Training CenterEffective Teacher CharacteristicsAvoids asking student why he did somethingStates expected behaviors and provides examplesUses short sentences and limits the number of instructionsProvides instruction in more than one modalityProvides extra time for student to process and respondProvides predictable classroom structure282010WV Autism Training CenterMeeting the Common Core State Standards for Students With Autism Three psychological theories explain some of the characteristics of autism:Lack of Theory of MindWeak Central CoherenceImpaired Executive FunctionLack of Theory of MindDeficitsInability to recognize and understand the thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and intentions of othersMind blindness difficulty putting oneself in another persons shoesFind it challenging to understand nonverbal cues or misinterpret nonverbal cuesDont understand how their actions or behaviors affect othersChallengesCharlies story

Interpreting within text the thoughts, feelings, intentions of characters which is critical for accurate comprehensionSocial interactions

Weak Central CoherenceDeficitsCant see big picture. Attend to detail, but have difficulty perceiving and understanding the gist of something.ChallengesSarahs story

Joses story

Difficulty with higher level thinking and comprehensionMay have large vocabulary, but fail to understand simple comments or directionsMay demonstrate strength in word decoding, but experience great challenges in comprehension

Impaired Executive FunctionDeficitsStruggle with organization and planning, working memory, inhibition control, time management, prioritizing and using new strategiesChallengesInitiating work, staying on task, and being able to organize themselvesDifficulty with long term assignments/projectsDifficulty integrating new information, situations or rules with existing concepts and knowledge especially in times of stressNeed structure and stress reduction

CCSS ReadingCharlotteCan read and decode on grade levelCant relate how characters respond to events in storyStruggled to meet CCSS: Reading and Literature

Why didnt Maria just say what she thought?What will the character say instead?

CCSS ReadingStephen

CCSS Listening and SpeakingMany children with ASD do not ask questions or seek help from others and may not understand that others have information that can be useful to them unless someone explicitly teaches themOne of the characteristic of ASD is marked impairment in the ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with othersCCSS Listening and SpeakingJohns story

CCSS Listening and SpeakingNaturalistic InterventionFocus on teaching skills within the context of daily routines (with modeling and guided practice) and use a childs interests to motivate him or her to produce the target behavior (raise hand, wait for teacher to call on him, ask for help)

CCSS Listening and SpeakingPeer-mediated Instruction and Intervention (PMII)Using role play teach peers how to identify behaviors that indicate John needs helpPeers prompt John to use his help card to ask for assistanceContinuous feedback and reinforcement

CCSS WritingMany students with ASD have difficulty:Initiating writing task or generating ideasRetaining information while applying information (remembering parts of a story while writing)Being mindful of the part, the goal, or the completed projectThey often appear noncompliant with writing tasks but they really just dont know how to get started, what to write or how to ask for helpCCSS WritingJacks StoryVery bright and advanced vocabularyHighly developed knowledge in geography and meteorologyBecomes anxious if peers complete assignments faster than he

Specific Solutions: HandwritingTeach using structured curriculum (e.g., Handwriting without Tears)Modify, adapt and reduce writing assignmentsComputersOral answersDry erase/chalkboardMarkers, pensWeighted pencils and pencil gripsSlanted surfaceOccupational Therapy442010WV Autism Training Center