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AUTISM. Dena Burnett EDSP 6644. IDEA Definition for Autism. A developmental disability affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social Interaction, generally evident before age 3, that affects a child’s performance. Other characteristics often

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  1. AUTISM Dena Burnett EDSP 6644

  2. IDEA Definition for Autism A developmental disability affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social Interaction, generally evident before age 3, that affects a child’s performance. Other characteristics often associated with autism are engagement in repetitive activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory experiences. The term does not apply if a child’s educational performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has serious emotional disturbance. (34 C.F.R., Part 300, 300.7 [b] [1]) Individuals With Disabilities Educational Improvement Act, 2004)

  3. Psychological & Behavioral Characteristics and Classification • Communication skills are impaired: ThisIncludes both verbal and nonverbal interactions • Impairment of social interactions • Engagement in repetitive activities: Includes resistance to change and Atypical reaction to sensory experiences

  4. Additional Information • People with autism also have significant cognitive deficits • The degrees of impairment vary • The child’s head grows suddenly and excessively during his first two years

  5. Continued • Other similar syndromes make up the term, “Autism Spectrum Disorders” • Asperger syndrome • Rett syndrome • Childhood disintegrative disorder • Pervasive developmental disorder • About 1 out of 166 people has an autism spectrum disorder

  6. Historical Origin • Leo Kanner report 1943 • Observed 11 children at Johns Hopkins University • Detected distinguishable characteristics

  7. Eight distinguishable characteristics • An inability to relate to others in an ordinary manner • An extreme autistic aloneness that seemingly isolated the child from the outside world (term used by Kanner and Asperger to refer to the children that they were observing) • An apparent resistance to being picked up or held by the parents • Deficits in language including…echolalia…

  8. Continued • Extreme fear reactions to loud noises • Obsessive desire for repetition and maintenance of sameness • Few spontaneous activities such as typical play behavior • Bizarre and repetitive physical movement such as spinning or perpetual rocking

  9. Early Thoughts of Causes of the Disorder Hans Asperger and Kanner agreed that The causes of autism were: • Biological being most prevalent factor • Hereditary can be a factor as well Kanner also added that the parents of these children did not appear warmhearted Refrigerator moms was a term once used for mothers of children with autism

  10. Accepted Current Thoughts on Causation • Neurological Several areas of the brain are involved; however, the mirror neurons play a significant role in social deficits. The rapid growth of the brain also plays a significant role since the first two years are the critical time for brain organization • Genetics If a family member has the disorder, the chances are 50 to 200 times higher that another family member will also have autism

  11. Identification • No universal test for diagnosing • Detailed history from parents is solicited • Behavior checklists are given to parents and educators of the child • Diagnosis is made using criteria • Communication skills • Social Interactions • Repetitiveness of behaviors

  12. Early Intervention, Educational Programs & Assessment • Greatest need for instruction is communication skills • Most effective if highly structured, intensive and involve the family • Instruction in a natural setting Early intervention may produce notable gains, but no intervention has been determined to enable a child to completely overcome his disabilities

  13. Continued • Direct instruction of skills Assessment is based on the child’s progress in his development of language (MacArthur-Bates Communicative Development Inventory-Second Edition) and his social adaptive behavior (PDD Behavior Inventory) parents and teachers can use (Social Responsive Scale) • Behavior management using functional behavioral assessment and positive behavioral intervention and support

  14. Strategies for Inclusion • Structured environment that encourages positive social interaction • Explicit directions • Assignment and test modifications • Varied instructional strategies • Ongoing communication and collaboration with guardian and support staff

  15. Transition to Adulthood • Start planning during the elementary years • Make the planning person-centered • Integration into the community • Shared residence or supported living • Employment or supported competitive job

  16. Source Hallahan, D.P. Kauffman, J.M., and Pullen, P.C. (2006). Exceptional Learners: Introduction to Special Education, 11th Ed. San Francisco; Allyn and Bacon.

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