Educator Training A Practical Guide For Working With Students With Autism Spectrum Disorders Ruth Lee Pat Krouson Denisse Santos Leslie Allore “If you have seen one child with Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome, you have seen just that….one child with Autism or Asperger’s Syndrome.” Unknown What is Autism ? • Complex and Lifelong Developmental Disability • The Result of a Neurological Disorder That Affects the Brain • Impacts Development in the Areas of Social Interaction and Communication Skills • Spectrum Disorder Displaying any Combination of Stereotyped, Communicative and Social Behaviors Stereotyped Behaviors • Avoids eye contact • Flicks or flaps hands/fingers in front of face or at sides • Licking/ smelling objects • Spinning/ turning in circles • Rocks back and forth • Rapid or darting movements • Makes high-pitched sounds or other noised for self-stimulation • Cognitive Inflexibility (difficulty transitioning, breaking routine, and concrete language) Communicative Behaviors • Repeats or echoes words (sometimes over and over again) • Speaks using abnormal tone or rhythm • Responds inappropriately to simple commands • Avoids looking at speaker when name is called • Does not initiate conversation • Uses “yes”, “no”, and “I” incorrectly • Uses gestures instead of speech or signs to have wants and needs met • Babbles • Does not “read” non-verbal behaviors of others (facial expressions, body language) Social Behaviors • • • • • • • • • Resists physical contact Does not imitate others in play Appears standoffish in social settings Looks through people Laughs or cries inappropriately Uses toys and other objects inappropriately Has difficulty with change in routine Does certain tasks repetitively, ritualistically Lines up objects in orderly fashion, becomes upset if order is disturbed • Lack of Theory of Mind (Lack of or reduced empathy) What is Asperger’s Syndrome? • Similar to autism in respect to stereotyped behaviors and impaired social skills • Not usually a significant language delay • Cognitive development and self-help skills also not typically delayed Facts and Statistics • No known cause • No known cure • Known to occur across all racial, ethnic and socio-economic boundaries • 3 to 4 times more common in boys than girls • 1 in every 110 births is affected ASD Students In The School Setting • • • • Self-contained Autistic classrooms Varying Exceptionality classrooms ESE Resource classrooms Inclusion classrooms with/ without additional support • Regular Education classrooms Effective Strategies for ASD Students • • • • • • • Behavior Management Systems/ Support Communication Systems/ Training Prompting and Fading Sensory-Motor Training Social Skills Training Visual Strategies Modeling Additional Supports • • • • • • Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) Adult Support Peer Support Assistive Technology Individual Education Plan (IEP)/504 Plan Communication Systems • Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) • Assistive Technology • Verbal Behavior Training • Natural Language Facilitation Sensory- Motor Training • Many students with autism have difficulty maintaining their level of sensory stimulation (loud noises, large crowds, light, etc). • Use of structured physical activities such as rhythm , body awareness, and “heavy work”, can help increase sensory regulation. • Sensory diet or schedule of specific sensory activities (OT can help). Social Skills Training • • • • Social Times Peer mediated strategies Social Stories Modeling ASD to IEP • • • • • • • • • • • • ASD- Autism Spectrum Disorder ABA- Applied Behavior Analysis APE- Adaptive Physical Education BIP-Behavior Intervention Plan ESE- Exceptional Student Education FBA- Functional Behavior Analysis FIN- Florida Inclusion Network IEP- Individual Education Plan OT- Occupational Therapy PECS- Picture Exchange Communication System PT-Physical Therapy S/L- Speech Language Sources • Twachtman-Cullen, D. (2000). How to be a Para Pro. Higganum, CT: Starfish Specialty Press. • Duvall County Schools., Allore L., Prince L., Stidham, J. (2004). Polk County Schools Program Manual for Serving Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders. Bartow, FL: Polk County Schools.