Archive for the ‘individuals with autism spectrum disorder’ Category

Autism Spectrum Syndrome disability

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Autism Spectrum Syndrome disability

 

Autism Spectrum Syndrome disability is unfortunately misunderstood. The term autism spectrum disorder is an umbrella term used to cover a wide range of conditions. It is believed that around 25% of people with ASD will have accompanying learning disabilities.  Regardless of functioning, typically all people with an Autism Spectrum Syndrome disability will almost certainly have difficulties with social skills, imagination skills, behaviors and display communication difficulties, this is often called the triad of autistic impairments or social skills deficits.

 

Autism Spectrum Syndrome is a life-long condition that is either present from birth or from early childhood.

Listed below are a few of the autism characteristics that may be present in children with autism. However, typically those with high functioning autism or Asperger syndrome may only display a few of the autism characteristics listed behaviors while others on the lower end of the autism scale may display all the behaviors.

Having Autism Spectrum Disorder can mean:

  • Being unable to cope appropriately with social situations.
  • Self-stimulating behavior, often referred to as “stimming” this can include behaviors such as: flicking fingers, flapping arms, rocking back and forth and in some cases self-injury like head banging or slapping.
  • Communication difficulties – this can include asking questions, joining in conversations an finding appropriate topics of conversation.
  • Obsessions with certain facts or objects; for example timetables.
  • Asking questions they already know answers to.
  • Obsession with a routine that if broken may cause distress, this is a known area of weakness in children with autism
  • Difficulty forming relationships with others –  making friends can be difficult for children on the spectrum
  • Misunderstanding people’s feelings and emotions – difficulties with “mind reading” or reading peoples facial expression and body language is lacking in children on the spectrum
  • Problems with creativity and imagination are also a cause for concern in children on the spectrum. Typically children with autism are not spontaneous and will struggle with make believe and spontaneity preferring rigid learnt responses.
  • Typically many children on the spectrum will have a short concentration span.

Many autistic people are naturally gifted in certain areas, many autistic people are extremely gifted when using their hands constructing, painting and in music.

Those individuals with Asperger syndrome tend to be on the higher end of the autism scale. This set of individuals with Aspeger syndrome are generally average or above average intelligence.  Those individuals on the lower end of the autism scale may also display learning disabilities, this set of individuals may have poor communication skills and in many cases language may never develop.

In the classroom typically a student with autistic spectrum disorder may have difficulties forming social relationships and following school rules. This can cause issues within the classroom for teachers and other students. A student with autistic spectrum disorder may need extra support in school to help them cope. This help can come in the form of visual intervention strategies like: PECS, visual support cards, flash cards, social skills stories, visual timetables, now and next boards and so on…

Looking into what is Asperger Syndrome?
What is Asperger Syndrome?

Asperger syndrome has been described as “high functioning Autism.”
People with Asperger Syndrome will generally not have any learning disability. In many cases a child with Asperger Syndrome may not receive a diagnosis until they are older. Unlike a diagnosis of autism which is generally given before the child reaches three years of age. Indeed some people can go through their whole lives having Asperger Syndrome and not receive a diagnosis, until they are in their 40’s or older.

Asperger syndrome was first identified by Hans Asperger in the 1940’s; some of the characteristics of Asperger syndrome are:

  • Lack of empathy
  • Naive, inappropriate one sided interactions
  • Little or no ability to form friendships
  • Pedantic or repetitive speech
  • Poor non verbal communication
  • Intense absorption in certain subjects
  • Clumsy and ill coordinated movements and odd postures.

It is also apparent that those individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome also display the triad of autistic impairments – social skills deficits, as with individuals with autism spectrum disorder.

  • Social communication: knowing what to say to other people and understanding what they are saying to you.
  • Social understanding: knowing what to do when you are with others or behaving inappropriately (apparently oblivious to social rules).
  • Imagination: pretend play, make believe and fantasy.

People with Asperger’s Syndrome will generally fulfill their potential and may go on to university, have a job and live a relatively “normal” life, get married and have a family.

 Overcoming the triad of autistic impairment – social skills deficits can be as difficult for the individual with Asperger’s as it can be for those individuals with mild an lower functioning autism

Therefore overcoming social skills deficits can become a primary focus for all people with ASD and their families. Overcoming social skills deficits can be achieved using autism supports like visual intervention strategies such as social skills stories and visual support cards.

 Looking at visual intervention strategies – autism supports

 Generally people with ASD are visual thinkers and learners, which means they think and learn in pictures. Consequently, visual intervention strategies are beneficial because they use visual means of communication, such as images, pictures, graphs and so on.

 An individual on the spectrum will be better able to understand and follow instruction and information when it is presented visually, rather than written or oral command. Strategies such as social stories use visual images along with appropriate first person text to explain a situation or skill that the individual on the spectrum is struggling with.

 For example: Autism and making friends, generally children on the spectrum struggle to make and maintain friendships. A social story can act as a role model or step by step plan showing children on the spectrum the social rules they are expected to follow when attempting to make friends, like for example how to approach another child, how to start a conversation and so on…

For many children with autism social stories are a life line, helping them overcome many difficulties. Many parents trust social stories to help them overcome hurdles such as puberty, relationships, and transitions etc…

 Social skills stories can answer the ever important “wh” questions – who, where, why, when and what as well as “HOW” and offer an insight into the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others this is a marked area of weakness for many children with autism.

 Generally social skills stories are in word format making them easy to edit, no two individuals with autism are ever the same and we all use different terminology, therefore social stories need to be editable. They should also be easy to print making them portable and convenient to use anywhere and anytime.

 To learn more about social skills stories and how they benefit children with Autism Spectrum Syndrome disability, as well as other autism supports like visual support cards visit: http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/visual_aids

ASD – Autism spectrum disorder social and communication skills teaching

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

With an increase in the number of children being diagnosed with ASD, it is now recognized that autism spectrum disorders are more common in children than disorders such as diabetes, spina bifida, or Down syndrome.

 

All children diagnosed with ASD will have common symptoms of autism; these are known as social skills deficits or the triad of impairments.  A child’s social skills deficits are characterized by difficulties in:


Social skills development

Communication both verbal and non-verbal skills

Imagination skills

Interaction skills


These deficits are always present in children with ASD to varying degrees.


In addition to the triad of impairments or social skills deficits children diagnosed with ASD may also display sensory processing issues.


Probably the most noticeable of the symptoms of autism is an individual’s difficulty with social interactions. A child with autism spectrum disorder may have little trouble learning to read but exhibit extremely poor social interaction.


Typically a child with autism spectrum disorder will not follow the normal pattern of development. Generally parents of ASD children may have an idea that there is something not quite right with their child before their child is diagnosed with ASD.

 

For example from birth, typically developing babies are social beings. Early in life, they gaze at people, turn toward voices, grasp a finger, and even smile. However with ASD children this is not always the case.

 

Research suggests that although children with ASD are attached to their parents, the attachment is not typical and is difficult to read. For parents of ASD children, their child’s apparent lack of attachment can be upsetting and stressful.

 

Generally typically developing children have met all their milestones in communication by the age of three, however for most ASD children these milestones may pass un-met. Communication both verbal and non-verbal can prove difficult for ASD children.

 

Some children with autism spectrum disorder will never develop speech, or speech may be delayed. Generally all individuals on the spectrum are visual thinkers and learners and benefit form visual aids that can help them learn social and communication skills.

 

For many children with autism spectrum disorder using visual aids that teach social and communication skills such as PECS, visual support cards and social stories are proving very beneficial.


For the vast majority of individuals with autism spectrum disorder social and communication skills teaching needs to be direct. For example making friends, for typically developing children this skill is learnt naturally. For an ASD child this skill does not develop naturally, although some children with autism spectrum disorder may wish to be social they do not know how.

 

Consequently, many children with autism spectrum disorder social and communication skills teaching is achievable by using visual aids like social stories. Since their development twenty years ago, social stories have grown into probably one of the most significant tools used for teaching and re-enforcing social and communication skills in children with autism and related conditions today.

 

Social stories are a role model that provide individuals with ASD a visual explanation in the form of a script, much like a step by step visual representation or plan of the skill or situation that he or she may find difficult, stressful or confusing.


Social stories use a specifically defined style and format. The goal of social stories is to describe accurately using first person language and social cues in a clear and reassuring manner that is easily understood by the individual with an ASD.


Giving the individual with ASD accurate information that answers the “wh” questions
(who, where, why, when and what)
as well as giving an insight into the thoughts and feelings of others helping them manage and cope with the skill or behavior.

 

Social stories will help reduce anxieties and stress making them to feel more comfortable with and in the situation.

 

For more information on social stories for autism and how they can help with autism spectrum disorder social and communication skills teaching visit any of the following sites where you will also gain immediate downloads of appropriate social stories for autism.

 

http://www.autismsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/behavior

Social skills stories for ASD and related conditions

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010

Social stories are used as a strategy for helping individuals with autism spectrum disorder and related conditions to understand situations, skills, concepts and behaviours they may be struggling to master or cope with.

Therapist Gray developed the social skills story around twenty years ago to teach social and communication skills to children with ASD. The social skills story follows a defined specific formula that has been time tested and proven to work affectively.

Social skills stories for ASD and related conditions are used to help with most situations and skills and can be adapted and implemented easily by parents, teachers and other professionals working with the child with ASD.

For example, a teacher may use a social skills story to help a student with autism feel more comfortable with recess or a lesson they may find confusing or stressful. The student with autism may also use a social skills story to help them cope with break times, home time and so on…

Teachers can use social skills stories for ASD to help within the classroom, helping the student with autism stay on track during lessons.

Generally individuals with autism spectrum disorder and related conditions are visual thinkers and learners meaning the will absorb information and instruction easier when that information is presented visually rather than written text or auditory.

A social story should describe a situation, skill, or concept in terms of relevant social cues, perspectives, and common responses using a specific formula.

The social story is used to help with communication, routines, explain rules, show how other people may be feeling explain other’s point of view, show the social cues in situations, also to help with routine changes, unexplained events and so on, helping the child with ASD understand and cope with the situation, skill, concept or behaviour.

The social skills story shows who, what, where, when, why by visually showing where and when a situation occurs, who is involved, how events are sequenced, what occurs, and why.

Social skills stories for ASD and related conditions can be downloaded from http://www.autismsocialstories.com

Other relevant sites offering social skills stories for ASD can be downloaded from sites such as

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school

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ASD visual supports

Monday, February 22nd, 2010

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder and related conditions are generally visual thinkers and learners. Meaning they can understand and relate to information easier when it is presented visually, rather than auditory or written.

 

ASD visual supports are used to help individuals with autism spectrum disorder to communicate and clarify verbal communications.

 

The ASD visual support can be used by teachers to help them give information and instruction for example the ASD visual support can be used on a visual timetable to show the ASD student their daily schedule, lessons and other activities.

 

The teacher can also use ASD visual supports around the classroom to indicate to the ASD student for example the pencil tray, book corner, coat pegs and so on.

 

Presenting information in a visual manner helps the child with ASD understand and process that information easier, clarify any verbal instruction they are given.


ASD visual supports help the child with ASD interpret, understand and act appropriately.

ASD visual supports can be used to help with communication issues with both verbal and nonverbal individuals with autism spectrum disorder and related conditions.

 

To view and learn more about ASD visual supports and how they can help your child with ASD communicate and understand information, directions, skills and behaviours visit http://www.autismsocialstories.com/visual_aids

 

 

 

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ASD social stories

Sunday, February 21st, 2010

ASD social stories are used as a tool when teaching social and communication skills to children with ASD. Social stories were first developed around twenty years ago by therapist Carol Gray as a tool to help her communicate and teach the autistic children she was working with.

ASD social stories provide the child with ASD explanations and possible behavior suggestions for situations, skills and behaviors that they may find difficult or confusing due to their individual autism symptom.

ASD social stories are used by parents of autistic children and teachers to effectively teach social and communication skills to individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Social stories use visual cues that show the child with ASD what is expected of them as well as what they can expect.

Individuals with autism spectrum disorder have social skills impairments; it is due to these social skills impairments that a child with ASD has difficulties with social and communication skills and behaviors.

As with typically developing children no two autistic children will ever be the same and therefore the severity of autism symptom will vary. ASD social stories can be adapted to suit individual needs and abilities.

Research shows us that teaching social skills to children with autism spectrum disorder has been identified as one of the best indicators of positive long-term outcomes in the child’s development.

Consequently, parents of autistic children and teachers use tools such as social stories to teach and re-enforce social skills. The social skills story will help the child with autism identify the important cues in a given situation.

The social skills story will show the child with ASD visually possible outcomes, giving focus to the key points, showing the child with autism spectrum disorder how another person may re-act or feel in the situation by describing another’s point of view.

It will also explain rules, routines, situations, upcoming events or abstract concepts; and how the child with autism spectrum disorder can understand expectations, cope with changes to routines and learn appropriate skills and behaviors.

ASD social stories use a specifically defined style and format. They are mainly written by experts in autism and are usually visually rich. Most children with autism spectrum disorder are visual learners making visual social skills stories an ideal teaching tool.

Many parents and teachers as well as professionals use social skills stories for autistic children to teach even the most basic social skills such as tooth brushing to complex social skills like attending a wedding, a birth even explaining how to make friends, have conversations, ask questions and more.

To download ASD social skills stories for autistic children on a variety of issues visit any of the following sites:

http://www.autimsocialstories.com

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/sensory

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/social_skills

http://www.autismsocialstories.com/school_resources

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