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Autism How does it relate to educators?. What is Autism? A neurological disorder A spectrum disorder including varying degrees Difficulties in social.

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Presentation on theme: "Autism How does it relate to educators?. What is Autism? A neurological disorder A spectrum disorder including varying degrees Difficulties in social."— Presentation transcript:

1 Autism How does it relate to educators?

2 What is Autism? A neurological disorder A spectrum disorder including varying degrees Difficulties in social interactions Difficulties in communication Narrow interests-obsessive behavior-repetitive actions

3 What causes Autism?  No exact answer  No physical test  A complex disorder in brain development  Combination of:  genetic factors & environmental causes

4 How prevalent is it?  I in 88 (U.S. Center for Disease Control)  Ten fold increase in last forty years Research shows only partly due to improved diagnosis  4-5 times more common in boys 1 in 54 boys 1 in 252 girls

5 How is it treated? Treatment is individualized Social skills training Behavioral therapy Speech Therapy Occupational therapy Physical therapy

6 How is it treated cont.  Medicine for symptoms  Parental training  Two popular approaches  Applied Behavioral Analysis-behavioral approach  Floor time- engaging approach

7 Signs to look for in school age children  Difficulties with social interactions  Difficulties in communication  Lack of eye contact  Lack of empathy  Repetitive behaviors

8 Signs cont.  Narrow interests  Obsessive behaviors  Difficulty regulating emotions  Difficulty reading facial cues  Aloofness or tempter tantrums

9 What do educators need to know about autism?  One size does NOT fit all  The form autism takes can be as unique as the individual child. There is no magic bullet There is not one curriculum or program that works best for children with autism. Anxiety and misbehavior can appear the same but are NOT Anxiety or overstimulation often lead to what appears to be misbehavior in autistic children

10 What educators need to know continued  Children with Autism can be on any intellectual level  While many children with autism may have a low IQ or Learning disorder, all do not.  Verbal vs non-verbal children  Verbal children are often mainstreamed, but they may still experience the same amount of sensory and social issues  Severity is not based on verbal ability.

11 What educators need to know continued  Sometimes children with autism are highly sensitive to...  Bright lights  Loud noises  Smells  Certain textures  Change in the environment

12 Strategies for dealing with autism in the classroom  Structured environment clear set rules predictable schedule noise level controlled Get to know the child All children with autism are NOT the same Know the child’s triggers Know the child’s sensory issues Know the child’s strengths and interests

13 Strategies continued  Limit change  Even slight changes in room arrangement can be distressful for some children  Monitor transitions Transitions are form of change and a trigger for some children Incorporate the child’s interests Reading exercises or other lessons within the child’s area of interests can prove extremely beneficial

14 Strategies continued  Use social stories  Children with autism do not learn social skills naturally Clear communication Concrete Language Follow-up that directions are understood Visual learning instruction Most are visual learners picture cards

15 Strategies continued  Work with the child’s IEP team  Resource teachers  Therapists  Special Ed teachers  LEA person  Parents

16 Resources  Autism speaks   Kimberly Markum’s personal experience


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