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Autism and Asperger Syndrome Information and Strategies for the Secondary Classroom.

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Presentation on theme: "Autism and Asperger Syndrome Information and Strategies for the Secondary Classroom."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Autism and Asperger Syndrome Information and Strategies for the Secondary Classroom

3 What are Autism & Asperger Syndrome? The Symptoms of Autism Symptoms of Aspergers What difficulties does ASD cause? References & Links References & Links How ASD affects the senses. ASD and Learning Click on a post-it to review each theme

4 What is Autism & Asperger Syndrome?  Autism and Asperger Syndrome are Developmental Disorders.  They affect a person’s development, making it delayed and/or uneven.  They are also Neurological Disorders.  Autism and Asperger Syndrome are present from birth, or appear at a very young age.  Autism and Asperger Syndrome have a genetic basis, as they often run in families.  Autism consists of a group of related disorders which vary in severity. MORE

5 What is Autism & Asperger Syndrome (cont..)?  The use of the term “Autistic Spectrum Disorder”, or “A.S.D.”, refers to “People who have Autism and Asperger Syndrome”.  There are a lot of commonalities between “classical” Autism and Asperger Syndrome  It is useful to think of them as being on the same spectrum of disorders.  Some children may display a lot of “classical Autistic” features however, as they grow into adults, they may move further up the scale into what seems more like Asperger Syndrome.  The symptoms of both conditions overlap considerably. BACK

6 The Symptoms of Autism. There are usually a cluster of symptoms NOT one or two.  Little interest in making friends.  Extremely short attention span.  No response when called by name.  Acts as if deaf.  Little or no eye contact.  Repetitive body movements, e.g. hand flapping, rocking, spinning.  Intense tantrums.  Fixations on a single object, e.g. a spinning fan, wheels on a toy, light switches.  Unusually strong resistance to changes in routine.  Over-sensitivity to certain sounds, textures or smells. BACK

7 The Symptoms of Aspergers Each person who has Asperger Syndrome is also an individual, and may not have exactly the same profile of characteristics as another. An individual will have several of the following and the symptoms are more intense than normal.  Difficulty making friends and general social interaction.  Difficulty understanding non-verbal social cues such as facial expressions and body language.  May be either withdrawn, or makes over-eager, inappropriate approaches.  Difficulty understanding that others may have thoughts or feelings different from one’s own.  Obsessive focus on narrow interests, e.g. train timetables, or obsessively collecting items.  Awkward or clumsy motor skills, co-ordination or balance difficulties.  Over-sensitivity to sudden noises, and/or other sensory inputs.  Eye contact may be lacking or unusual, e.g. staring.  Inflexibility about routine, especially when changes occur spontaneously. MORE

8 The Symptoms of Aspergers Cont..  Odd quality to voice, e.g. monotone.  Problems with understanding idiomatic expressions, i.e. taking things literally.  Difficulty with multi-tasking, or in coping with more than one significant issue.  Difficulty in thinking or performing under pressure.  Tendency to be able to deal with only one sensory channel at once, e.g. seeing OR hearing, not both.  Tendency to be overly sensitive to criticism, failure, and humiliation.  Easily bullied, manipulated, tricked or taken advantage of by others.  May be highly intelligent, but lacking in “common sense.”  Intelligence tends to be very uneven, with one or two areas of talent, and other areas of marked inability.  High anxiety levels may be an almost constant feature for some individuals. Click here for Gillberg & Gillberg - Diagnostic criteria for Asperger Syndrome (1989). MORE

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10 Gillberg & Gillberg Diagnostic Criteria for Asperger Syndrome (1989). Social impairment – extreme egocentricity (at least in two of the following): inability to interact with peers lack of desire to interact with peers lack of appreciation of social cues socially and emotionally inappropriate behaviour. Narrow interest (at least one of the following): xclusion of other activities repetitive adherence more rote than meaning. Repetitive routines (at least one of the following): on self, on aspects of life on others. Speech and language peculiarities (at least three of the following): delayed development superficially perfect expressive language formal pedantic language odd prosody, peculiar voice characteristics impairment of comprehension, including misinterpretations of literal / implied meanings. Non-verbal communication problems (at least one of the following): limited use of gestures clumsy body language limited facial expression inappropriate expression peculiar stiff gaze. Motor clumsiness [movement skills] poor performance on neuro-developmental examination. BACK

11 ASD Can Mean Autism or Aspergers Persons with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder typically have difficulties in the following areas: Sensory Sensory Social understanding Social understanding General understanding General understanding Communication, motor skills Communication, motor skills Emotions Emotions Learning Learning Mental rigidity Mental rigidity Avoidance of change and Avoidance of change and Preoccupation with one or several intense interests. Preoccupation with one or several intense interests. Some autistic individuals, especially those who have the milder forms like Aspergers, have average or above-average intelligence. However their words can sometimes sound formal and ideas which are abstract, metaphorical or idiomatic may cause confusion and be taken literally. BACK

12 ASD AFFECTS THE SENSES Most autistic people have some (or all) of the five senses turned up too high.  Sudden noises or movements are often very startling  The glare of sunlight or lighting can be too strong  Some individuals can not stand certain tastes or smells  some can not stand being hugged or touched (though others enjoy this)  Some Autistic Spectrum persons strongly dislike the feel of sticky substances on the skin, therefore avoiding activities like mixing ingredients with the hands, and finger painting. BACK

13 ASD and Learning Autistic Spectrum ways of learning things are often different from those of “other” people.  Most autistic individuals learn best when the information is visual: in pictures or writing.  Autistic individuals tend to have difficulty following a sequence of spoken instructions.  When learning a new task, it helps if the task is broken down into small steps, and each step is then individually and patiently taught. BACK MORE

14 Teaching Strategies Limit distractions Limit distractions Solid routine (no surprises) Solid routine (no surprises) Clear achievable expectations Clear achievable expectations Keep instructions simple and to a minimum i.e. no ‘double meanings’ in dialogue Keep instructions simple and to a minimum i.e. no ‘double meanings’ in dialogue Break down instructions into small steps Break down instructions into small steps Teach student to ask when confused Teach student to ask when confused Known to struggle with Known to struggle with –Problem solving –Comprehension –Abstract Concepts Shape desired behaviour with praise Shape desired behaviour with praise Link learning goals to student interests i.e. maths problems using dinosaurs Link learning goals to student interests i.e. maths problems using dinosaurs Always show the appropriate response if they get it wrong Always show the appropriate response if they get it wrong ABOVE ALL - BE POSITIVE, BE CREATIVE & BE FLEXIBLE. ABOVE ALL - BE POSITIVE, BE CREATIVE & BE FLEXIBLE. BACKMORE

15 Things to Remember Normal or above level of intelligence Normal or above level of intelligence May have an excellent long term memory for events and facts May have an excellent long term memory for events and facts Reads books for information little interest in fiction Reads books for information little interest in fiction Tends to learn by rote always check for understanding of concept. Tends to learn by rote always check for understanding of concept. Disproportionately upset by failure or criticism Disproportionately upset by failure or criticism Can appear rude but unaware of social conventions Can appear rude but unaware of social conventions Lacks empathy Lacks empathy May have emotional outbursts May have emotional outbursts Protect from bullying or teasing Protect from bullying or teasing BACK

16 References (1999(1999) (1999) (1999 Links BACK


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