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Recreational Therapy: An Introduction Chapter 6: Autism PowerPoint Slides.

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1 Recreational Therapy: An Introduction Chapter 6: Autism PowerPoint Slides

2 Autism “Autism (ASD) is a complex neurobiological condition affecting the ways an individual processes and responds to information and sensory stimuli, which may cause a ‘restricted repertoire of activities and interests’ as well as impairments in social and communication skills.” (Gray, 2015, p. 123)

3 Autism Spectrum Disorder (defined by DSM-5) …is characterized by persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts, including deficits in social reciprocity, nonverbal communicative behaviors used for social interaction, and skills in developing, maintaining and understanding social relationships. In addition to the social communications deficits, the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder requires the presence of restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities.

4 ASD (DSM-5 continued) Within the diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder, individual clinical characteristics are noted through the use of specifiers (with or without accompanying intellectual impairment; with or without accompanying intellectual impairments; with or without accompanying structural language impairment; associated with a known medial/generic or environmental/acquired condition; associated with another neurodevelopmental, mental, or behavioral disorder), as well as specifiers that describe the autistic symptoms (age at first concern; with or without loss of established skills; severity).

5 Challenges with individuals with ADS  Staying focused due to level of interest  Being over- or underwhelmed from sensory input  Impulsivity causing problems with waiting patiently  Not trying new activities due to a strict adherence to routines or fear  Problems in maintaining good sleep behavior and nutrition  Excessive fear and/or anxiety  Impaired social interaction skills, including inability to read social cues  Impaired verbal and nonverbal communication  Difficulty with recreation and leisure participation skills  Difficulty in general comprehension skills  Low to moderate processing times  Difficulty with organizational skills  Difficulty with direct application of known skill sets.

6 Summary of challenges with individuals with ASD Challenges may create limitations for individuals with ASD in the areas of “communication, self-care, social situations, school or work activities, and independent living.” (Porter & burlingame, 2010, p. 88)

7 Potential strengths of individuals with ASD  Exceptional visual learning  Early development of reading skills  Strong memory skills (e.g., words, numbers, dates, sequences)  Strong literal comprehension skills  Fast fact-finding  Exceptional spelling skills  Good supervisory skills  Perfectionism  Works well alone or with adults  Functions well under stress  Displays sense of humor  Can maintain perspective  Can be passionate  Good endurance and stamina  Consistency in skill performance  Enjoys routines  Gives attention to detail  Can be loyal  Can be hardworking  Can be creative

8 Goals for individuals with ASD “Since ASD is a lifelong, pervasive condition, and in itself is not progressive, targets or outcomes for treatment, in general, would focus on the remediation of current skills and functioning as well as the enhancement and/or rehabilitation of skills and functioning over an individual’s lifetime.” (Gray, 2015, p. 126)

9 Specific outcomes for individuals with ASD “Specific outcomes sought for individuals with ASD include reducing impairments in body structures and functions by increasing physical and cognitive functioning; reducing activity limitations and participation restrictions by increasing physical, cognitive, social, psychosocial, and environmental functioning; and identifying, overcoming, and/or removing environmental barriers to participation.” (Gray, 2015, p. 126)

10 Interventions by RTs with individuals with ASD “Common techniques (used by RTs) include leisure education (leisure counseling); purposeful recreation, fitness, and games; support in community recreation; social skills training; biofeedback; progressive relaxation training; aquatic therapy; assertiveness training; animal-assisted therapy; creative arts (dance, music, art); technology; and sensory training.” (Gray, 2015, p. 126)

11 Approaches with individuals with ASD “For recreational therapists, a client-centered and holistic approach to service delivery supports meeting individuals at their current level of functioning and allowing them a ‘voice’ in their movement toward optimal functioning and fulfillment. Community and collaboration play a large part in acceptance and assistance of those with ASD and their families; furthermore, to open the dialogue with individuals, organizations and other service providers need to ensure services are of high quality and accessible by both cost and location.” (Gray, 2015, p. 135)

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