The Incredible 5-Point Scale and Other Pretty Good Ideas for Teaching Students on the Autism Spectrum Kari Dunn Buron and Mitzi Curtis

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Transcript The Incredible 5-Point Scale and Other Pretty Good Ideas for Teaching Students on the Autism Spectrum Kari Dunn Buron and Mitzi Curtis

The Incredible 5-Point Scale and Other
Pretty Good Ideas for Teaching
Students on the Autism Spectrum
Kari Dunn Buron and Mitzi Curtis
Main Points of This Morning's Talk
• Autism involves a difference in social thinking
• Neuroscience and Education are talking to
each other
• When teaching social information to people
with ASD, it is best to teach to their learning
Both Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger
cited social difficulties as the #1 deficit
of ASD
How can these two guys be on the
same spectrum?
IQ 130
Fluent in 2 languages
Masters from Harvard
IQ 30
Group home
Supported work
I think the fundamental aspect of
autism – the feature that you
must have to be considered
autistic – is either an absence or
an impairment of the social
Dr. Ami Klin (Yale):
Autism is first and foremost, a
social disorder.
A new area of science:
Social Cognitive Neuroscience
International Mind, Brain, Education Society
Harvard and Cambridge programs
Social Cognition affects:
How a person understands other people
How a person manipulates other people
How a person repairs social interactions
The level of comfort one has in social settings
Challenging behavior and issues of emotional
regulation that can result from social confusion and
social anxiety
Mind Blindness or Problems of Theory of Mind
Simon Baron Cohen
Someone has difficulty with:
• Understanding why people do what they do
• Understanding the impact your behavior has on
others / adjusting to fit in
• Predicting another person’s behavior
• Can create confusion and fear in social situations
• Begins to develop at birth
I didn’t lack empathy. I often felt
deeply for other people, but I didn’t
know the right way to express those
Dan Coulter
14 month olds show joint attention – not
just looking at a face but also paying
attention to what another person is
interested in.
Geraldine Dawson – 1st
4 Behaviors noted:
eye contact
shows objects
turns to name
Social learning happens so
early, it is like breathing.
From birth, babies begin to study and
understand people.
Children with autism seem to study and
understand things.
Read your card.
Discuss how the challenge described is related to a
problem of social cognition.
So what specific skills
are associated with
Social Cognition?
Reading Eyes – Simon Baron Cohen
• 36 set of eyes
• Overall females scored higher than males but
males scored higher than AS.
• Study included adults only
• Quiz
Show me your
Some of the skills identified
• Reading eyes and faces
• Reading body language
• Using effective body language (body and
• Understanding the need to think about how
other people think
• Negative self-talk
• Emotional regulation
Face processing provides the
foundation for developing Theory of
Mind (TOM)
Understanding Competence
• If you are good at social skills then you are probably
very socially competent
• We avoid things we do not feel competent in
• Behavior problems (escape) can be signs of feeling
• We know that the use of repetition and predictability
is a good way to increase feelings of competence
• Need for direct teaching
• Need to learn about or teach subtle social
• When writing IEP goals or setting personal
goals there is a need to break social thinking
into workable parts
• Need to look outside traditional behavioral
sciences to understand social cognition
Mirror Neurons
May prompt a baby to
mimic parent’s face,
leading to the
of what we call empathy
Controversy: hand movement and
understanding intentions
Implied Goal areas?
Enactive Mind learning theory
Video modeling
Active practice
Simon Baron Cohen
The Empathizing-Systemizing Theory
• The drive to create systems for increased
• Theory: people with ASD have Hypersystemizing and Hypo-empathizing.
• Systems are rule governed and predictable.
• This is a strength based theory
Systems seen across the spectrum
• Sensory: food issues,
tapping services
• Motoric: spinning, patterns
• Collecting: stickers, lists
• Numerical: calendars, math
• Motion: watching washing
machines spin
• Spatial: routes, drawing
• Environmental: lining up
• Social: saying first half of
sentence and wait for
someone to finish it
• Natural systems: repetitive
• Mechanical: VCR
• Vocal: echoing
• Actions: watching same
video over and over
• Music: same tune over and
Strength in
in emotionalizing
Use a
to teach social