General Session - faculty.piercecollege.edu

Report
Students on the Autism Spectrum
are Succeeding in College
Los Angeles Pierce College
Faculty Convocation
February 1, 2013
• Emily Iland, MA
– Educational Consultant
– Faculty, CSUN
• Gabriela Sanchez
– Program Director, NEXUS
– Tierra del Sol Foundation
• Rebecca Lienhard
– Director, Integration Services
– Tierra del Sol Foundation
MISSION STATEMENT
Pierce College is a student-centered learning institution that offers
opportunities for access and success in a diverse college community.
The college dedicates its resources to assist students in identifying and
achieving their educational, career, and personal goals. Our
comprehensive curriculum and support services enable students to
earn associate degrees and certificates, prepare for transfer, gain
career and technical proficiency, and develop basic skills. We serve our
community by providing opportunities for lifelong learning, economic
and workforce development, and a variety of enrichment activities.
What is Autism?
“When you have met one person with autism, you have met
one person with autism.” Stephen Shore
• Brief Overview
• Common Characteristics/Strengths
• Predictable Challenges
• Patterns help us see and understand – ONE SIZE DOES NOT
FIT ALL!
Autism is a Spectrum Disorder
• Autism is a spectrum disorder that ranges from
severe to less severe impairments and effects.
• People with autism have different levels of
functioning.
• Even “mild” autism can have severe effects
1
Severe
2
3
4
Less
Severe
SBC Global
Social
R&R
Behavior
©2012 Emily Iland, M.A. All rights reserved
Plus Sensory
Issues
Communication
Communication Continuum
1
Severe
2
3
4 Less
Severe
1. Silent, may make sounds, not words, no
gestures, may understand
2. Speech that requires a prompt (object naming,
echolalia, video talk)
3. Spontaneous speech, but missing pragmatic
aspects (conversation & ToM); pedantic, literal
4. Very verbal, missing pragmatic aspects
(conversation & ToM)
Behavior/intense interests
1
Severe
2
3
4 Less
Severe
1. Parts of objects
2. Specific category of objects (collect them all);
3. Facts and information on their idiosyncratic
interest (not about popularity)
4. Complex/abstract intense interests (Star Wars,
periods of history)
The Social Continuum
1
Severe
2
3
4 Less
Severe
1. Withdrawn/aloof (avoids/ not responsive)
2. Passive (needs prompts, acts out to get what he
wants)
3. Active but odd (limited, scripted)
4. Wants friends, significantly immature
(underdeveloped) probs w ToM, mini-adult style
You will have more students with ASD
1 in 88 children is now diagnosed with autism
A wave of people with ASD are becoming adults
80% under 21 years old - 80% unemployed
Tierra del Sol’s NEXUS Program
BRIDGE TO SUCCESS
P r C l e
i c o e
e e l g
S
t
u
d
e
n
t
F
a
c
u
l
t
y
PROACTIVE AND POSITIVE STRATEGIES
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Managing time
Developing a Plan B
Taking the Perspective of Others (ToM)
Alternative Coping Mechanisms
Finding Safe Havens
Understanding Social Nuances
Developing Peer Support
Most Important Key Strategy
In the classroom
• Diagnosed/undiagnosed
• Aware/unaware
Capable, bright people with
social-communication challenges
• May not understand unwritten
expectations of a college classroom
• May make social mistakes, not be
aware of them
• May have a concrete/literal view of
course requirements (e.g.
participation grade)
What helps Promote Success?
• Clear expectations and structure
• Relationships
– Professors
– The Nexus Bridge
– Peers
– DSS
• Appropriate (new) accommodations
• Natural supports & resources
How to help with specific
situations
1. Interrupts, corrects,
off-topic remarks,
blurting things out
2. Does not
understand content
3. Speaking and
presenting
4. Written assignments
5.
6.
7.
8.
Working in groups
Multi-tasking
Sensory
Stress
1. Interrupts, corrects, makes off-topic
remarks, blurts things out
Why?
• Feels it is a personal conversation
• Is “making connections”
• Does not understand how the behavior is
perceived by others
• Impulse control
• Wants to earn “participation” points
• Is right!
Proactive and Positive
Suggestions for Classroom
Interruptions
• General rules and limits for everyone
• Post it notes
– For connections
– For corrections
.
I really want to say
something right now, but
since it is not the right
time, I will write on a
post-it note instead
2. Does not understand content
• Wrong answers
• Asks too many questions
• Test/Quiz results
Why?
• HOTS: Higher order thinking skills (abstraction vs.
facts)
• Complexity
• Auditory processing
• Vocabulary gap
Luna, Doll, Hegedu, Minshew & Sweeney, 2006; Minshew & Goldstein, 2002).
Proactive and Positive Suggestions for
Understanding Content
• After class can ask X questions, get answers to
the rest from a peer
• Buy used textbooks already highlighted
• Electronic dictionary
• Office hours
• Tutoring
3. Speaking and presenting
• “Timid” and shy
• Dominates
Why?
• Social communication disorder
• Support they have received (or not)
Proactive and Positive Suggestions
for Speaking & presenting
• Rational approach = Be fair, let everyone get
their points
• Present to you in private, say less in class
• Alternate format assignment to group project
4. Written assignments
• Lack of maturity in writing
• Difficulty integrating, synthesizing
Why?
• Vocabulary gap,
• Executive function, organization
• HOTS = Higher order thinking skills vs. facts
Proactive and Positive Suggestions
for Written assignments
• Preview/support writing assignments in office
hours
• Allow drafts/provide input
5. Working in groups
•
•
•
•
Dominates
Does not pull weight
Conflicts with peers
Too much truth
Why?
• Limited experience and skills
• Social/communication demand
• Lack of social understanding/perspective
Proactive and Positive Suggestions
for Working in groups
•
•
•
•
Ask for a volunteer mentor (on the side)
Clarify roles
Be clear about instructions, requirements
Have participants rate their own contribution
6. Multitasking = look, listen and write
Why?
Autism is a disorder of information processing
(Minshew, Meyer & Goldstein, 2002)
•
•
•
•
Multiple demands
Processing Speed
Memory
Attention
Proactive and Positive Suggestions
for Multitasking
•
•
•
•
•
Note taker
Provide powerpoints
Provide professor notes
Allow audio recording of lecture
Moodle-type system where all course
materials, clarification, changes etc. are
available
7. Sensory = reaction to the environment
• May be uncomfortable
– Noise
– Smells
– Light
– Proximity
Why?
Unusual sensory processing
• Over-sensitive = overloaded
• Under-sensitive = under-stimulated
Proactive and Positive Suggestions
for Sensory Accommodations
• Allow individual accommodations
– Hat
– Tinted glasses
– Space
– Movement
• Classroom-wide accommodations?
– Scent free zone
8. Stress & anxiety
• Pass course, amount of work
• May feel anxious and overloaded,
withdrawn
Why?
• The cumulative effect of multiple,
simultaneous social, communication
& processing demands
Stress is the enemy of success!
Stress
Learning
Stress reactions = Anxiety, overload
•
•
•
•
•
Shutdown
Meltdown
Outbursts
Fight or Flight
Distress
Proactive and Positive Suggestions
to Reduce Stress & Anxiety
• Clear expectations and structure
• Relationships
– Professors
– The Nexus Bridge
– Natural supports
• Appropriate (new) accommodations
Final Recommendations
• Ongoing Office hours = plan on it
• Collaborate with Nexus and DSS for disclosure
& more
• Work out arrangements & accommodations
for class
– Offer options
– Testing (extra time, quiet place)
– Technology solutions
CLEAR AND EFFECTIVE FEEDBACK
•
•
•
•
•
Universal Teaching Mechanisms
Bi-Semester Student Progress Reports
Navigating Campus Resources
Exit Strategies for Coaching Supports
Feedback not Criticism
Most Important Key Technique

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