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Caitlin Smith November 28, 2010 EDU 6644 Seattle Pacific University.

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Presentation on theme: "Caitlin Smith November 28, 2010 EDU 6644 Seattle Pacific University."— Presentation transcript:

1 Caitlin Smith November 28, 2010 EDU 6644 Seattle Pacific University

2  One of the 5 Autism Spectrum Disorders  AKA “High-functioning Autism”  Includes impairments in socialization, communication, cognition, and sensation (Myles et al., 2005)  Prevalence:  About 1 in 110 children in the United States have an autism spectrum disorder (CDC, 2010)  One 2007 study found 1 in 250 children have Asperger’s Syndrome (Hurlbutt & Handler, 2010)  Autism Spectrum Disorders occur 4 times more often in boys than in girls (CDC, 2010)

3  Documented by Hans Asperger in 1944  Reported on children at summer camp who played alone and did not interact with other children  Similar to children with Autism, but with average intelligence and language that appeared normal  Lorna Wing’s 1981 paper brought disorder into limelight and named it “Asperger’s syndrome”  Causes:  Theories included cold, unresponsive parents as well as the MMR vaccine, but research has not found causal relationships between these factors and Autism Spectrum Disorders  Currently, it is believed that it has neurological causes involving deficiencies in neural networks and not a specific abnormality Hallahan, D.P., Kauffman, J.M., Pullen, P.C. (2009). Exceptional learners: An introduction to special education (11 th ed.). Boston: Pearson.

4  One-sided interactions with others  Difficulty learning and understanding social rules– the “hidden curriculum” of how to act in social situations  Bluntness that can make them seem rude or insensitive  Need to control social situations, resulting in an interaction centering on the child’s wants and interests, not on a give-and-take with a peer  Can appear quiet, withdrawn, or unresponsive  Difficulty identifying emotions in themselves and others (Myles et al., 2005) (Stokes, 2001)

5  Speech may appear “normal,” but there are deficits in verbal and nonverbal communication  Difficulty understanding abstract concepts in language, especially idioms, metaphors, sarcasm, allegories, etc.  Limited or inappropriate use of facial expressions, gestures, or body language; may stand too close to others  Trouble interpreting nonverbal communication (Myles et al., 2005)

6  Lack problem-solving and organizational skills  They think literally– understanding abstract concepts is difficult  Obsessive, narrowly defined interests  Unable to generalize knowledge across situations or settings  Inability to recognize that others have their own thoughts and feelings– “Theory of Mind”  Impaired executive functions that help make decisions and regulate behavior (Myles et al., 2005)

7  Difficulty processing stimuli  May be hypersensitive to stimuli and “overreact”  May be hyposensitive and not react at all  Delays in processing auditory information– verbal, multi-step directions are hard for the child to understand  Sensory processing can distract the child and make it difficult for them to pay attention (Stokes, 2001)

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9  Compiled by Danya International and the Organization for Autism Research  Guide developed for teachers to understand Asperger Syndrome and effectively respond to the student’s needs in an inclusive classroom  Extensive resource including:  Background on Asperger Syndrome  Classroom challenges  Six-Step plan to prepare for having a child with Asperger’s in the classroom  Detailed interventions for sensory issues, academics, and socialization  Information about IEPs and transition planning Myles, B.S., Hagen, K., Holverstott, J., Hubbard, A., Adreon, D., Trautman, M. (2005). Life journey through autism: An educator’s guide to Asperger syndrome. Retrieved from the Organization for Autism Research website:

10  The “Six-Step” Plan: How to prepare for the inclusion of a child with Asperger’s in your classroom 1. Educate yourself  Become familiar with Asperger syndrome and its characteristics 2. Reach out to parents  Develop a working relationship with the parents and utilize ongoing, open communication 3. Prepare the classroom  Organize the academic and physical environment 4. Educate peers and promote social goals  Teach classmates about Asperger syndrome– research shows informed peers demonstrate greater acceptance  Teach social skills and watch for bullying 5. Collaborate on implementation of an educational program  Work with the IEP to identify and assess educational goals 6. Manage behavior challenges  Understand and prevent them through modifications and supports Myles, B.S., Hagen, K., Holverstott, J., Hubbard, A., Adreon, D., Trautman, M. (2005). Life journey through autism: An educator’s guide to Asperger syndrome. Retrieved from the Organization for Autism Research website:

11  Studied the effectiveness of SODA, a social-behavioral learning strategy developed for children and youth with Asperger Syndrome that involves self-talk strategies  SODA Bock, M.A. (2007). The impact of social-behavioral learning strategy training on the social interaction skills of four students with Asperger syndrome. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 22(2),

12  Q: What effect will SODA have on the abilities of students with Asperger Syndrome to engage in cooperative social activities?  How was this tested?  Participants: 4 male students, 9-10 years old, with normal IQs in inclusive elementary classrooms  One SODA strategy story was prepared for and taught to each child. The child then read the story each day right before the targeted activity  Data was collected on how long the student spent participating in the target activity  What did they find?  All 4 boys presented increases in the percentage of time they spent participating in the cooperative social activity, and maintained participation levels after SODA intervention stopped Bock, M.A. (2007). The impact of social-behavioral learning strategy training on the social interaction skills of four students with Asperger syndrome. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 22(2),

13  Case study on a 16 year old high school sophomore with Asperger Syndrome  The career path binder aims to help with transition planning by developing a student’s narrow interests into a possible and realistic career path, increasing student’s understanding of their own disability, and developing self-awareness skills  Involves “identifying interest areas, researching those areas to identify possible jobs or careers, gaining experience in that field, and outlining a plan for reaching the employment goal in a sequential, orderly, and organized fashion.” Hurlbutt, K.S., & Handler, B.R. (2010). High school students with Asperger syndrome: A career path binder project. Intervention in School and Clinic, 46(1), doi: /

14  Step 1: Information Gathering  Involves learning about one’s disability and developing self- advocacy skills  Student uses employment inventories and surveys to determine areas of interest and strengths  Student finds pictures of people doing jobs of interest  Student and teacher look for patterns in careers and narrow search  Step 2: Research  Research job fields student chose in step 1  Learn about social skills requirements and sensory demands of job  Find out job description, outlook, salary, required education or training  Step 3: A Plan  Student develops plan on how to reach employment goal  What courses do I need?  Can I get job experience? Hurlbutt, K.S., & Handler, B.R. (2010). High school students with Asperger syndrome: A career path binder project. Intervention in School and Clinic, 46(1), doi: /

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16  Use direct instruction to teach social skills (Myles et al., 2005; Stokes, 2001)  Teach children how to interact appropriately with the student (Bullard, 2004; Stokes, 2001)  Model and role-play social situations (Bullard, 2004; Stokes, 2001)  Teach specific phrases to use in social situations (Bullard, 2004)  Create cooperative learning situations where the child’s skills will be an asset to the group (Williams, 1995)  The Incredible 5-Point Scale (Myles et al., 2005)  uses numbers to represent abstract ideas like feelings or emotions  allows student to “talk in numbers” instead of emotional language  Social Competence Intervention (Stichter et al., 2010)  introduce a new skill in a group discussion format  model the skill  provide opportunities to practice the new skill The Incredible 5-Point Scale

17  Create social narratives (social stories/scripts, Comic Strip Conversations) to teach skills for specific situations (Myles et al., 2005; Stokes, 2001)  Give student personalized visual “social rule” card: can be taped to desk as a visual reminder of appropriate behaviors (Stokes, 2001) Social Stories Social Scripts Comic Strip Conversations

18  Establish and provide a visual representation of a clear, consistent schedule (Bullard, 2004; Myles et al., 2005)  Make student aware of any changes in routine ahead of time  Use visual cues during instruction and provide specific verbal and written directions (Bullard, 2004)  Priming: introduce the student to materials ahead of time (Myles et al., 2005)  Provide highlighted text and study guides  helps the student discern important facts from irrelavent information (Myles et al., 2005)  Provide visual supports like a map of the school, list of teacher expectations, or samples of assignments (Myles et al., 2005)  Use a timer to provide structure and time constraints for finishing tasks (Stokes, 2001)  Organize assignments in color coded notebooks or assignment book (Stokes, 2001)  Break assignments into smaller parts (Alberta Learning, 2003)  Don’t assume they understand what they read: check for comprehension (Williams, 1995)

19  Provide a safe, quiet place for the student to go if they become overstimulated (Bullard, 2004; Stokes, 2001)  Use headphones to block distracting auditory stimuli (Stokes, 2001)  Performing tasks involving “heavy” work like pushing, pulling, or carrying can help calm and focus a child (Stokes, 2001)  Allow child access to objects they can “fidget” with (Stokes, 2001)  Teach relaxation methods (Stokes, 2001; Alberta Learning, 2003)  Provide student enough time to respond (Stokes, 2001)  This allows for possible auditory processing difficulties  Explain metaphors, similes, and words with double meanings (Alberta Learning, 2003)  Limit perseverative questions and discussions on isolated interests (Alberta Learning, 2003)  Use positive reinforcement! (Williams, 1995)

20 PROS  Student can learn social skills in a “normal” environment  Student can practice social skills with peers  Children with Asperger syndrome usually have average to above- average intellect and can thrive in the academic challenges of the general education classroom– with a few accommodations CONS  Students with Asperger’s do not look “different” but also do not act “normal”– they may be at risk of being bullied for their behavior  Some children with Asperger syndrome are emotionally fragile and may develop a low self-concept or depression from being unable to understand and complete assignments in a general education classroom (Williams, 1995)

21 SECONDARY LANGUAGE ARTS CLASSROOM

22  Display the daily schedule in the room to ease student’s anxiety and help them anticipate tasks  Give student their own copy of the schedule to check off items as they are completed  Include pictures/icons as appropriate for student  Provide written directions along with verbal instructions for in-class assignments and homework to increase comprehension  Designate a “safe place” that the student can go when they feel overwhelmed or need to calm down  Post directions for proper use of the safe place: Time limit, no talking, must make up missed work, etc.  Communicate the use and location of the safe place to the rest of the school staff  Work with student to develop a signal so they can tell me when then need to go to the safe place SECONDARY LANGUAGE ARTS

23  Teach the student to use a planner to develop and practice organizational skills  Have them copy assignments daily into planner  Check planner at end of class period  For longer projects, prevent frustration and promote time-management skills by sitting with the student and breaking up the project into shorter tasks with their own deadlines-- help them write those in the planner  Provide student with specific things he/she can say and do in a group discussion to encourage social interaction and participation  Eye contact while listening  Asking questions: What did you like about ___? Why do you think this?  Appropriate responses: That’s a great question. I liked _____. I thought _____ was good/boring/confusing. I don’t know what I think about ____.  Write prompts on card for student to keep with them  Provide a goal for number of interactions and reward for completion SECONDARY LANGUAGE ARTS

24  Alberta Learning, Special Programs Branch. (2003). Teaching students with autism spectrum disorders. Alberta, Canada: Author. Retrieved from  Bock, M.A. (2007). The impact of social-behavioral learning strategy training on the social interaction skills of four students with Asperger syndrome. Focus on Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities, 22(2),  Bullard, H.R. (2004). 20 Ways to ensure the successful inclusion of a child with Asperger syndrome in the general education classroom. Interventions in School and Clinic, 39(3),  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2010). Autism Spectrum Disorders. Retrieved from  Hallahan, D.P., Kauffman, J.M., Pullen, P.C. (2009). Exceptional learners: An introduction to special education (11 th ed.). Boston: Pearson.  Hurlbutt, K.S., & Handler, B.R. (2010). High school students with Asperger syndrome: A career path binder project. Intervention in School and Clinic, 46(1), doi: /  Myles, B.S., Hagen, K., Holverstott, J., Hubbard, A., Adreon, D., Trautman, M. (2005). Life journey through autism: An educator’s guide to Asperger syndrome. Retrieved from the Organization for Autism Research website:  Stichter, J.P., Herzog, M.J., Visovsky, K., Schmidt, C., Randolph, J., Schultz, T., & Gage, N. (2010). Social competence intervention for youth with Asperger syndrome and high-functioning autism: An initial investigation. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 40,  Stokes, S. (2001). Autism: Interventions and strategies for success. Wisconsin: Cooperative Educational Service Agency #7. Retrieved from  Williams, K. (1995). Understanding the student with Asperger syndrome: Guidelines for teachers. Focus on Autistic Behavior, 10(2), 9-16.


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