Autism Spectrum Disorders: An Awareness Level Training for Educators

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1 Autism Spectrum s: An Awareness Level Training for Educators Autism is the Fastest-Growing Developmental Disability More common than pediatric cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined Autism increased 172% during the 1990 s Prevalence rate of 1 in 150 births, 1 in 94 for boys Currently 1 to 1.5 million Americans have autism (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007) Education, both directly of children and of parents and teachers is currently the primary form of treatment for Autism Spectrum s (National Research Council, 2001) 1

2 Autism Spectrum s: An Awareness Level Training for Educators Introduction to Autism Spectrum s (ASD) Learning Characteristics of Children with ASD Classroom Supports for Children with ASD Introduction to Positive Behavior Support (PBS) Introduction to Autism Spectrum s (ASD) What is Autism? Diagnostic Criteria Types of Pervasive Developmental s (PDD) Clinical Versus Educational Diagnosis Associated Conditions What Autism is NOT What is Autism? A life-long developmental disability characterized by deficits in: Social reciprocity Communication Overall adaptive functioning Usually begins during the first three years of life Symptoms range from mild to severe 2

3 What Causes Autism? No one knows for certain Genetic influence Possibility of multiple causes Two-hit theory Is There a Cure for Autism? Individuals with ASD do not grow out of autism There is no known cure at this time Educational programming can help students with ASD develop appropriate skills and improve Pervasive Developmental s (PDD) Childhood Disintegrative Rett s ASD or Autism Autistic Asperger s PDD- NOS 3

4 Clinical Diagnosis of Autism Spectrum s (ASD) DSM IV criteria, used by qualified personnel, includes impairments in the following areas: Social interaction Communication Restricted/Repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, activities Symptoms are present before 3 years of age Autistic Asperger s Pervasive Developmental - NOS Cognitive Range from cognitively impaired to above average. Average to above average intelligence. Range from cognitively impaired to above average. Communication Overall delayed communication skills. Not a significant delay in language development; vocabulary and grammar. Can be anywhere from delayed to within the normal range. Social Interaction Difficulty with social interaction and social language (pragmatics). Difficulty with social interaction and social language (pragmatics). Difficulty with social interaction and social language (pragmatics). Repetitive/ Restricted Patterns of Interest May see inappropriate play (lining up toys, attending to parts vs. whole, etc.) and selfstim behavior May see intense focus/interest in one subject/object. May have self-stim behaviors. May see a range of inappropriate appropriate play skills and self-stim behaviors. Educational Classification of Autism Based on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) Includes all three clinical diagnoses Autistic i Asperger s PDD-NOS Students DO NOT have to have a clinical diagnosis to qualify for school services 4

5 Possible Associated Conditions Seizures Nutritional or gastrointestinal disorders Tics ADHD Obsessive-Compulsive tendencies Sleep s Anxiety Depression Intellectual Disability Autism is NOT a mental illness a child who chooses to be unruly or to misbehave a result of bad parenting The Hidden Disability Which child has autism? 5

6 If you ve seen one child with autism, you ve seen one child with autism. Autism Spectrum s: An Awareness Level Training for Educators Introduction to Autism Spectrum s (ASD) Learning Characteristics of Children with ASD Classroom Supports for Children with ASD Introduction to Positive Behavior Supports (PBS) 6

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