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Autism Spectrum Disorders. Vocabulary. AS is asperger syndrome Stereotypies are nonfunctional types of repetitive behavior that are seen in children with autism Savant means ‘knowing’ and refers to children who have special talents Figurative language is nonconcrete language

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AS is asperger syndrome

Stereotypies are nonfunctional types of repetitive behavior that are seen in children with autism

Savant means ‘knowing’ and refers to children who have special talents

Figurative language is nonconcrete language

Neophobic is fear of new and unfamiliar people and situations

general description
General Description

A neurobiological disorderat the “high end” of the autism spectrum--normal IQ

10% have some with savant talents


5 times more prevalent in males than females (DSM-IV)

definition social characterisitcs
Definition:Social Characterisitcs

Diagnostic Criteria:

A. Impairment in social interaction, seen as deficiencies in two of the following:

  • use of multiple nonverbal behavior (eye-to eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction)
  • appropriate peer relationships
  • spontaneous seeking to share
  • social/emotional reciprocity
definition behavioral characteristics
Definition:Behavioral Characteristics

B. Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:

1. preoccupation with one or more restricted patterns of interest

2. inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals

3. persistent preoccupation with parts of objects

4. stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms

emotional characteristics
Emotional Characteristics

Look at this link

Lack of empathy

Low emotional maturity & do not mature socially as they age (Myles)

social characteristics
Social Characteristics

Little or no ability to form friendships

Naïve, inappropriate one-sided interactions

In high school some AS students may pass socially as "nerds", a group they actually resemble in many ways and which may overlap with AS.

The AS adolescent may form friendships with other students who share his interests through avenues such as computer or math clubs, science fairs, etc.

physical characteristics
Physical Characteristics

Clumsy and ill coordinated movements

Odd postures


Communication Characteristics

No significant general delay in language (e.g., single words used by age 2 years, communicative phrases used by age 3 years).

  • Good structural language skills
  • Poor pragmatic everyday communication.
  • Monotone, repetitive speech
cognitive characteristics
Average to above average IQ.

No significant delay in cognitive development or in age-appropriate self-help skills or adaptive behavior

High ability to commit to memory various facts

11.9% of AS children were gifted, with an IQ of 130 greater (Henderson)

Cognitive Characteristics
summary verbal vs nonverbal

Lack of empathy

Little or no ability to form friendships; naïve, inappropriate one-sided interactions

Low emotional maturity & do not mature socially as they age (Myles)

Poor non-verbal communication

Intense absorption w/ certain subjects

Clumsy and ill coordinated movements

Odd postures (Tony Attwood)


Monotone, repetitive speech

Good structural language skills

Poor pragmatic everyday communication.

Summary: Verbal vs. Nonverbal
academic characteristics
Academic Characteristics

Often, academic progress in the early grades is area of relative strength; for example, rote reading and calculation skills are usually quite good, and many children can obtain “high levels of factual information”


  • shifting attention
  • multitasking
  • planning/organizing
  • applying information and skills across settings
  • drawing inferences and applying knowledge
  • pencil skills
  • reading comprehension
  • written language and drawing tasks can cause anxiety
  • More can live independently and with some degree of economic self-sufficiency
  • Obstacle is finding the right job and work situation
  • Do better in supportive setting
    • in rural, less complex towns better than in big cities, where life is fast paced
    • in a family business
  • Vulnerability to a variety of psychiatric disorders

Provide a safe place so the child can retreat when s/he becomes over stimulated or has difficulty adjusting to a new activity.

  • Establish a schedule early on, and be consistent with it.
  • Provide a visual representation of the daily schedule.
  • Write notes in advance for the child if the schedule is going to change for a special event.
  • Provide visual cue cards to use during instruction and teaching.
  • Set clear expectations and boundaries, and post them on the wall.
  • Provide verbal and written instructions for the child.
  • Ask questions to check the child’s understanding of the instructions.
  • Use a timer to limit perseveration/ echolalia/ singing.
  • Allow the child to earn “free time” in the child’s chosen area of interest, such as art or computers
  • Teach other children how to interact appropriately with the child with Asperger Syndrome in both academic and social settings.
  • Be patient and ready to teach both academic and social skills over and over again.
  • Medications
  • Functional and Behavioral Analysis
  • Behavioral Treatment: Social skills training
    • Model and role-play social situations incorporating appropriate behaviors.
    • Teach specific socially acceptable phrases to use in certain situations
    • Provide social skills practice and role-playing for any upcoming social events.
    • Provide a social skills notebook with stories of correct and incorrect social behaviors that the child can use as a guide and reference
    • Provide visual cue cards of expected social behaviors, and place them in areas where those behaviors are expected.
    • Write down what behavior the child is exhibiting and what behavior he or she should be exhibiting.
  • Adapted Physical Education
savant abilities
Savant Abilities

Savants are rare and have spectacular islands of brilliance, which stand in marked contrast to their disability

  • 10% prevalence in autism
  • 1% prevalence in those who are not autistic but had intellectual disabilities or major mental illness)
cognitive characteristics1
Cognitive Characteristics

Generally they excel in one of the following areas:

  • Mathematical calculations
  • Memory feats
  • Artistic abilities
  • Musical abilities
kim peek
Kim Peek

The real

Rain Man

alonzo clemons
Alonzo Clemons
  • Alonzo is a savant. He is known for his sculptures.
Alonzo can see a fleeting image on a television screen of any animal, and in less than 20 minutes sculpt a perfect replica of that animal in three-dimensional accuracy. The wax animal is correct in each and every detail -- every fiber and muscle.
richard wawro
Richard Wawro

Known world-wide, for his detailed drawings using wax oil crayons as his only medium.