Autism - Teachfind

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Transcript Autism - Teachfind

Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Asperger’s Syndrome
Continuum / Spectrum
Severe autism
Asperger’s Syndrome
With additional
High functioning Autism
Learning difficulties
Diagnosis based on
Triad of Impairments
Communication: Language impairment across all
modes of communication, speech, intonation, gesture,
facial expression and other body language.
Imagination: Rigidity and inflexibility of thought
processes, resistance to change, obsessional and
ritualistic behaviour.
Socialisation: difficulties with social relationships
poor social timing, lack of empathy, rejection of
normal body contact, inappropriate eye contact.
(Dr Lorna wing)
We need to stress that
• all people with Autism are individuals,
and differences rather than
similarities prevail.
• this is a communication disorder.
• the nature of ASD often means that
ANXIETY is fundamental to the
difficulties experienced .
Impairment of Imagination
• Dependence on routine
• Obsessional rituals
• Impaired or rigid
approach to problem
• Inability to generalise learning or
• Unable to predict what will happen next.
• Poor incidental learning.
• Difficulty in including new
information with concepts already
• Impaired planning or organisational
How does this affect learning?
Clear structure required.
Clear instructions required.
Warning of changes to routine required.
May find great difficulty in tasks that
have high demand for imagination.
• May excel in tasks where facts need to be
• Homework problems – home/school divide
Impairment of Social
May include
• Lack of attention to others
• Appearing aloof and indifferent
• Not recognising that they are members of a
• Behaving inappropriately
to the social context
• Total lack of understanding of all
types of ‘play’, including team games.
• Failing to understand the social norms of
what may and may not be said.
• Failing to understand
the norms of social
• Incomprehension of
others’ emotions, thoughts,
beliefs and knowledge.
• Bizarre behaviours,
especially when
stressed or anxious.
How does this affect learning?
•PE and games may present particular
difficulty for some. Alternatives may be
necessary for physical fitness.
•Unstructured times (break and lunchtime)
are often times when things go wrong with
•Classroom behaviours are not always in place
and may need to be taught e.g. not calling
•The social curriculum (SEAL, and Citizenship)
often cause problems if basic understanding is
Impairment of Language and
• Displays
• Poor eye
• Echolalia - copies
words like a parrot
• Lack of understanding of the accepted
norms of conversational behaviour.
•Speaks on a monotone or with odd
• Very literal interpretation.
• Difficulty with jokes, puns, and
• May lose the thread
and become swamped if
too much language is
• One sided interaction.
• May speak incessantly
and obsessively on one
topic or pedantically
expand on everything.
•Problems with short term/working memory
• Possible imbalance between receptive and
expressive language.
How does this affect learning?
• Inability to follow social communication
rules may present as rudeness.
• Following cues from peers may give an
impression of knowing what has been said.
• Open ended questions may be impossible to
answer – too broad.
• Communication ‘rules’ may need to be
restated for the benefit of the individual.
• Too much ‘teacher talk’ may lose the young
person along the way.
• Long instructions may need to be written
down in sequential ‘chunks’.
Some other associated
• Anxiety - often linked with change of any
kind. For our purposes this may be the
overwhelming factor.
• Perceptive or sensory differences :
-Exceptionally acute hearing
-vision which may be affected by intensity
or colour of light
-difficulties with spatial awareness
• An inability to make sense of the world
around them, and their place in it.
The role of all adults:To present a calm, positive and consistent
 To develop an empathy and understanding of the
disorder, and acceptance of the child.
To consider the environment and try to adapt it to
enable the child.
To communicate in as clear and structured a way as
possible, according to the needs of the individual child.
• To provide clarity of expectation and
• Be consistent and never take it personally
•Provide schedules, lists or pictures to show
your child what is going to happen in your
•Teach the young person to listen to you, by
always ensuring you have his/her attention
•Give the young person reasonable warning
of the finishing time so that transitions are
not unexpected.
Children with Autism should not be
expected to fit any specific model or to
benefit from exactly the same kind of
interventions, although there are some
common strategies that are effective if
adapted to the individual child’s needs
and abilities.
So a child with Autism may not
• understand the spoken word
• recognise facial expressions
• understand body language
• be able to predict what is going to
happen next
• ask relevant questions.
How would this make you feel?
Things to remember
• Gain the pupil’s attention by using his/her
name before giving an instruction.
• Ensure you have his full attention by asking
him to look at you (show good listening skills)
before continuing.
• Ensure that he is seated in a position in
the class with minimum distraction - near
to the front and away from windows. Be
proactive - move him away from distraction
in a quiet manner.
• Give short, concise instructions, directed
specifically at the pupil. After your
instruction ask the pupil to give you a
recap to check that it is understood.
• Some pupils will benefit from having
instructions written down.
• When asking questions allow ‘processing’
time before expecting an answer.
• Be prepared for odd answers - they
usually have a degree of literal
understanding about them!
• Be precise - avoid figures of speech,
idioms, ambiguity, irony and sarcasm.
• Provide warning of any changes to
routine whenever possible.
• Be firm and matter of fact.
• ‘Autistic people have to understand
scientifically what non-autistic people
already understand instinctively.’