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Nicola Martin and Luke Beardon 0114 225 5534

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1 Nicola Martin and Luke Beardon 0114 225 5534

2 Brief Understanding AS Succesful Inclusion Working with people who have AS Care Planning Resources

3 Areas to cover Issues /Implications communication /social interaction /flexibility Mental health Relationships Sustance misuse Support /coping strategies Diagnostic tools Care planning Resources

4 My response These areas are significantly inter related and can not be artificially separated The voices of people with AS have to permiate the day. Please read The Aspect Report Beardon L,Edmonds G (2007) The Aspect report. A national report on the needs of adults with Asperger syndrome. My aim is to help you to empathise with people who have AS-emphasising individuality and changes over time /context

5 The Autism Centre Staff have expertise in a range of areas including education, criminal justice, family issues, across the age range, and engage in teaching, consyultancy and research. The Social Model of Disability informs the work of the centre. If you want to find out more you could take a distance learning module 0114 225 5534

6 Task Remember something which made you feel really anxious,deeply humiliated or excluded. Think about it for a minute Concentrate on the physical feelings How receptive are you to work, study, socialising etc when you feel like this? People with AS experience depression and anxiety often, at least in part, as a result of environmental factors /other people

7 Inclusion 'People with AS are like salt water fish that are forced to live in fresh water. We are fine if you just put us into the right environment. When the person with AS and the environment match, the problems go away and we even thrive. When we don't we seem disabled'. Baron -Cohen S (03) The Essential Difference. Penguin.

8 Task-definitions inclusionmental well being relationshipcoping

9 AS and Anxiety High levels of anxiety – as norm Increased anxiety states for specific reasons Global levels of high anxiety due to environmental factors Possible as high as 90% of individuals have a recognisable anxiety disorder

10 Secondary Psychiatric Disorders Not a primary mental illness Result of environmental factors and AS High level in people with AS compared to peer groups Better support should lead to a better prognosis and reduction in secondary conditions

11 Specific Reasons for Anxiety As a result of specific neurological differences in AS: learning processes communication social interaction Theory of Mind Executive Functioning emotional recognition Sensory processing Central Coherence obsessions or in depth interests (which differ from OCD)

12 Direct learning vs Indirect learning Examples of indirect learning / development:  Theory of Mind  Social skills  Social cues  Non verbal communication Learning Processes

13 Factors which can be negatives Resistance to Change Environmental factors Trust Sense of self/diagnosis Physical

14 Hypothesis - resistance to change Individuals with AS have significantly lower ‘stability rates’ in their day to day lives than the neurotypical This may lead, in part, to an explanation of ‘resistance to change’

15 Dependent on:  Communication  Understanding other people  Social awareness  Predictability  Fulfilled expectations  Shared sensory environment Stability


17 OBSESSIONS -SPECIAL INTERESTS  Can be ''socially inappropriate''?!  Need boundaries  Can be used as coping mechanisms  Obsessions /in depth interests, may be misinterpreted  Task-consider the plus side of having an in depth interest

18 SELF-ESTEEM  Must be taken very seriously  Impacts directly on self-control and behaviour  Culture of poor self-esteem in AS  Individuals need to know what to do just as much as what not to do

19 ◈ Possibly an unquestioning level of trust ◈ Possibly extremely distrustful ◈ NTs are renowned for lying ◈ Not being given the opportunity to trust can be highly anxiety inducing Trust

20 ◈ Literal interpretation ◈ Metaphor / sarcasm / irony ◈ Pedantic ◈ Echolalia ◈ Delayed processing ◈ Meaning transferability ◈ Expressive vs receptive skills Verbal Communication

21 ◈ Prosody ◈ Facial expression ◈ Body posture ◈ Inference ◈ Contextual information Non Verbal Communication

22 ◈ Recognising the ‘unwritten rules’ ◈ Assessing situations ◈ Reacting appropriately to social circumstance ◈ Adapting social skills to the situation Social Skills

23 ◈ Conversational turn taking ◈ Following the leads of others ◈ Understanding ‘friendships’ ◈ Group settings ◈ Sharing ◈ Participating in game scenarios Social Cues

24 Traditional Model of Autism 'Triad of Impairments' Wing and Gould 1979 Identified 3 areas of difference: communication social understanding 'imagination' Task-1.Is there an argument for describing 'the triad of difference'? 2.Think of positive and negative words associated with AS-and 3.Think about the language you use

25 Issues Deficit based 'Imagination' is inaccurate Highly subjective But useful as a guide in terms of areas of developmental difference

26 Theory of Mind Understanding and recognising emotional states (self and others) Mentalising abilities Difficulty in understanding that other people may see things from a different point of view Inflexibility in the application of both the written and unwritten rules that govern behaviour Empathy Trust Appearance of rudeness Lack of pretend play

27 Mindreading allows us to: Explain Actions Predict Actions Recognise and utilise deception Pretend and imagine Experience empathy Share information and co-operate

28 Executive Functioning Planning Impulse control Sequencing Scripting Managing time and space Connecting events Flexibility Understanding 'what happens next' Turn taking Queuing Difficulty with understanding abstract concepts and cause and consequence

29 Central Coherence Identifying the pattern or underlying rules Attention to detail Knowing what is relevant and redundant Recognising the 'big picture'

30 Behaviour Identify behaviour in isolation Decide: elimination or not? Decide: adapt/modify environment behaviour intensity duration frequency Review

31 Bullying Individuals with AS are highly vulnerable: don't 'fit in' will not necessarily follow traditional social convention (fashion, etc.) problems with adhering to social rules within society (classroom, playtime, employment, social arenas, etc.) communication problems poor TOM

32 EDUCATION PROBLEMS INCLUDE  Cognition can hide core defects  Peer group  Lack of understanding from staff  Transference of problems (home to school/work/service and vice-versa)  Academia takes preference over social and emotional development. Can lead to...  Isolation  Poor self-esteem  Poor motivation  Depression  Unrealised potential  Perfectionism

33 WHY GET A DIAGNOSIS OF ASPERGER SYNDROME ? OPENS OPPORTUNITIES - provided post diagnostic support is available  To understand one’s self  To understand behaviour  To develop appropriate support mechanisms  To widen scope of services  Provides better chances for the future diagnosis is a process not an event

34 PROBLEMS WITH DIAGNOSTIC PROCEDURE GENERAL  Inconsistency of diagnostic criteria (specifically language delay)  Lack of awareness among some clinicians  Poor clarity of referral routesCLINICAL  Behaviours within clinical settings may not provide an accurate profile  Echopraxic behaviours may be construed as pretend play  Many other difficulties can manifest similar behaviours (e.g. abuse and trauma)

35 ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS  Do not impose societal values on the person with AS  There’s nothing wrong with having AS  There is much to learn from people with AS  Never assume anything when working with someone with AS  Not acknowledging AS can be discriminatory  Difference does not equate to negativity

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