Autism Spectrum Disorder Challenges and Strengths

Document Type:Thesis

Subject Area:Education

Document 1

Types of autism……………………………………………………………………………3 a) Asperger’s disorder………………………………………………………. b) Autistic disorder………………………………………………………………………. c) Pervasive developmental disorder…………………. d) Classical autistic disorder……………………………………………………………. e) Rett’s syndrome………………………………………………………………………. f) Childhood disintegrative disorder……………………………………………………. III. Causes of autism…………………………………………………………………………. a) Genetic factors………………………………………………………………………. b) Neurological factors…………………………………………………………………. c) Environmental factors…………………………………………………………………6 d) Health conditions…………………. …………………………………………………6 IV. Autism and learning process………………………………………………………………9 a) Communication difficulties………………. b) Following instructions…. c) Concentrating on task………………………………………………………………. d) Sensory sensitivity…………………………………………………………. ………12 e) Classroom and playground………………………………………………………. V. Things to consider doing when teaching an ASD class…………………………………. VI. Conclusion………………………………. VII. References………………………………………………………………………………. Introduction Autism spectrum disorder is categorized as a neurological and a developmental disorder that starts during early childhood and may end up lasting throughout a person’s life. It considered being a “spectrum” from the fact that individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder exhibit a wide range of symptoms and challenges. They include problems related to speech and nonverbal communication, social skills and repetitive behavior (Pierangelo, R. et al, 2012, 106). However, despite these challenges, people suffering from ASD processes unique strengths and differences. A report published by the centers for disease control and prevention, one out of sixty-eight children in the Caribbean are victims of prevalence. This occurs in the ratio of one in every forty-two boys and one in every one hundred and eighty-nine girls. It estimated that fifty thousand teens with an autism condition end up becoming adults. They end up losing school-based autism services every year. About a third of the total people with autism condition remain nonverbal with another a third ending up with intellectual disability. Specific mental and medical health problems often accompany autism.

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They comprise sleep disturbances, gastrointestinal disorders, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, seizures, phobias, and anxiety (MacKenzie, H. In the beginning, they are mistakenly believed to have Obsessive-compulsive disorder or Attention Deficit Disorder. Pierangelo, R. et al, 2012, 102). Autistic Disorder This is the most common type of autism spectrum disorder. Two parts are associated with this type of disease. This means that the support needed fall anywhere between level 1 and 2. Functioning levels fall between moderate to high while barring exceptions which tend to overlap with other disorder syndromes. Individuals with this syndrome might end up having just communication and social challenges. Classical Autistic Disorder (Kanner’s Syndrome) This form of autism is named after Dr. Kanner. It is known to strike kids with healthy birth and development. At the age of between two and four years old, specific changes are experienced.

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They start to regress and do not potty train. They lose interest in a play together with the ability and will to interact with other children. They tend to experience problems with motor skills despite having mastered them at a certain point. Maternal exposure to certain viruses such as syphilis, measles, herpes, mumps, toxoplasmosis, rubella and cytomegalovirus and chemicals like valproic acid and thalidomide are also known to trigger autism. Preservative thimerosal present in childhood vaccination is even thought to be an autism-causing agent though no substantial evidence has been set up (Matson, J. ASD from A National and International Perspective It estimated that 52 million cases of autism are reported worldwide. This approximately 1-2% of all globe children. This has been noted to be a significant increase over the years. As a result, special teacher training programs have been implemented in the teacher training centers like colleagues and universities to address this issue.

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This has made early diagnosis and education interventions possible. There is a global campaign aimed at early diagnosis of ASD. This is because it has been found that autism children who join the educational programs early enough gain more compared to those who join the program at old age. Teachers attitude, beliefs and understanding of the autistic children greatly determines the education outcomes. Approximately 72% of such children show additional mental deficiencies (Grenier, M. It believed that learners with ASD find it hard to look at you all the time. This is because listening and watching are too complicated to be achieved at the same time. They always require more time to answer questions due to the slow processing time. Formulating an answer correctly may take up to a minute. They range from quietness to being very noisy Barton, E.

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et al, 2014, 194). However, despite these differences, it has been agreed that all kids with ASD experience problems with communication and social interaction. This makes it hard for them to play and cope with others. Fitting in is never easy for them since they never understand the feeling of others. For instance, they might be fastest in reading long words only to forget them within a short duration. Behavioral and educational treatment has been recommended for the mainstay of the management of autism. Most experts believe that treatment should be individualized. Increased interest has also been noticed towards the pharmacological treatment of the disorder (Pierangelo, R. et al, 2012, 112). As a result of this, education facilitators like teachers need to have a well understanding of the autism condition and how it impacts on the learning process.

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This will help with coming up with the necessary strategies aimed at assisting students. Every learner with the autism condition is unique and develop at a different rate hence end up requiring specialized care. Autism affects the child’s communication, social interaction or skills, sensory sensitivity, and behavior all which are essential for active learning. As a result, imparting knowledge to autism learners becomes a significant challenge. interesting enough, for phrases like ‘Would you come and sit here?’ ASD pupil may end up thinking that there is a choice and respond by answering ‘No. ’ Also, they find it challenging to understand messages conveyed through the tone of voice and body languages such as facial expression or a voice raise aimed at stopping them whatever they are doing. They may also tune out of a background noise mostly when concentrating on something.

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They would be interpreted to mean they are ignoring you. To overcome this, it becomes necessary to call out their name before inquiring something or giving out instructions. This is a significant challenging in the classroom setting where there is a frequent change of lessons from time to time. Therefore, this requires the application of the six-second rule (Barton, E. et al, 2014, 196). The teacher is forced to count up to six in his head and then repeat the same instruction with similar words. This is because changing of words would be interpreted to mean more information, which becomes more challenging to process hence the student may end up being frustrated. Such behavior restricts the teacher to teach a single concept at a time. Sensory Sensitivity Learners with ASD have an issue in processing sensory input a situation known as ‘having sensory sensitivity.

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This may lead to the alteration of one of the seven senses: vision, touch, body awareness (proprioception), smell, hearing, taste, and balance (vestibular). A good example is whereby some learners possess a compassionate discussion hence end up finding even the background noise distracting, very painful or also extremely loud. Behaviors such as experiencing problems with the motor skills, aversion to textures and self-stimulatory behavior like rocking or hand flapping are thought to be as a result of sensory issues (Pierangelo, R. Things to Consider Doing When Teaching an ASD Class From the above-discussed behaviors, teachers and the school staff should consider implementing some issues to create a more friendly learning environment for the ASD students. This is because sometimes it requires making very slight adjustments. The following are some of the suggestions; It is advisable to capture the pupils’ attention before giving out instructions.

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This will help in making them aware that you are speaking out to them. This may involve calling the student’s name while moving close to them. This is because the child will be far willing to compile the list of frequently used terms they struggle with. Since ASD people understand best when seeing things, the teacher should consider using pictures, activities, and demonstrations in their lessons. It good also to select realistic images since relating with unrealistic ones may be a difficult task for them (Pierangelo, R. et al, 2012, 102). Well-designed visual timetables and other support materials may be very useful in preparing them for changes besides explaining of information. Instead, consider using the simple ones. Always come up with consistent classroom rules that will guide the ASD pupils on how you expect them to behave.

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To make these rules well understood, the teacher may opt to explain them explicitly by the use of visual supports. It right also to come up with clear consequences for those that will break any of these rules. ‘Time out’ can be a right way of rewarding and could be applied to reinforce and acknowledge good behavior instead of punishment. Conclusion In summary, autism spectrum disorder is a collective term for developmental disorders. The word ‘spectrum’ suggests that these disorders have a wide range of symptoms and disability levels. Some individuals bearing this condition become severely disabled with others being mildly impaired. This condition is characterized mostly by difficulties in communication, social skills that involves interacting with others and having repetitive behavior. The primary communication and interactive skills include getting upset easily by slight changes in routine.

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References BARTON, E. E. HARN, B. Educating young children with autism spectrum disorders: a guide for teachers, counselors, and psychologists. eblib. Burlington, Elsevier Science. MACKENZIE, H. Reaching and Teaching the Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder Using Learning Preferences and Strengths. London, Jessica Kingsley Publishers Ltd. PIERANGELO, R. R. PAUL, R. KLIN, A. COHEN, D. J.

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