Special Considerations For High Functioning Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder
These days, more than half the students diagnosed with ASD function within the normal range of cognition and have acquired basic spoken language skills . These students with high functioning autism may show high achievement in some areas, but they will almost always have deficits in pragmatic aspects of language, in social skills, and peer interactions . Many high functioning students with ASD, as well, have difficulty with executive functioning and with understanding and producing narratives in which much of the plot is driven by characters internal states, plans, and goals. As SLPs, it falls within our scope of practice to work on addressing these communication difficulties.
Many of the interventions we have discussed for adolescents with LLD are appropriate for those with ASD, as well. As weve seen, students with HFA often have special difficulty with narratives . Robinson and Westby suggest work on inferencing in narrative as an approach likely to address a range of needs in this population. They suggest using inference and internal state charts as visual supports for helping students use evidence in the story to identify characters feelings and to draw conclusions about intentions underlying actions in stories. Examples can be seen in Figure 14.21.
Paige M. Ryan, … Thompson E. Davis, in, 2017
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ARC provided us with training to let us know what autism spectrum disorder is, said Tracy Chan, Avanades human resources lead for Southeast Asia.
What are things we should look out for? What are the differences between neurotypical and neurodiverse adults? Why are autistic adults sensitive to noise? Why cant they make eye contact?
Ive learnt that when we engage with autistic adults or give them tasks, we have to be very specific give clear instructions and tell them why they need to do a certain thing, what the purpose of the task is, the output were looking for and the timeline.
This is to mitigate the anxiety some employees with autism might face when they do not feel in control of the situation, she added.
Besides the training sessions and a job coach from the ARC attached to the autistic employee all Avanade employees have a career adviser. For autistic employees, this adviser must be aware of their condition and how to interact with them.
When we select a career adviser, we make sure we select the right one for the autistic employees. We dont simply pick anybody. The adviser has to go through the autism awareness training too, before we assign them, said Chan.
What Are The Levels Of Asd
ASD is divided into three levels:
- Level 1. People at this level may have symptoms that dont interfere too much with their work, school, or relationships. This is what most people are referring to when they use the terms high-functioning autism or Aspergers syndrome.
- Level 2. People at this level require some outside support on a daily basis. Examples of outside support include speech therapy and social skills training.
- Level 3. People at this level require substantial outside support on a daily basis. In some cases, support may include full-time aides or intensive therapy.
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How Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder Play
Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder tend to be less spontaneous than other kids. Unlike a typical curious little kid pointing to things that catch their eye, children with ASD often appear disinterested or unaware of whats going on around them. They also show differences in the way they play. They may have trouble with functional play, or using toys that have a basic intended use, such as toy tools or cooking set. They usually dont play make-believe, engage in group games, imitate others, collaborate, or use their toys in creative ways.
Resources From The Organization For Autism Research To Support Hfa And Aspergers Students In The Classroom
To help teachers provide the best possible education for autistic students, the Organization for Autism Research provides a comprehensive kit called An Educators Guide to Aspergers. The kit gives teachers six ways to support students who are on the autism spectrum:
- Manage behavioral challenges
The guides essential messages are understanding students as individuals, reaching out to their parents and support staff who know them best, and helping to set social goals and encourage and support peer interaction. Some of the basic symptoms of HFA or AS make these students targets for bullying or teasing its important for classrooms to be well-armed against such events.
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Differences With Social And Emotional Reciprocity
Autistic people with differences in social and emotional reciprocity may, for example, struggle to initiate or respond to communication, finding it difficult to participate in its typical back-and-forth nature. They may also face challenges in speaking about non-preferred topics.
People used to think it was an inability to empathize that lead to this. However, newer research has changed how we think about autism and empathy. It is almost the opposite, where autistic people may even be hyper empathetic.
It is just that their experiences and neurotypes are different. There is not a lack of empathy, simply another way of understanding and processing it. For example, autistic people may isolate themselves, but it is not because they prefer to be alone. Instead, it could be because they may feel they are annoying or causing trouble for others.
I Have High Functioning Autism
I spent my entire life struggling to know why I was so different from everyone else. I was born in the 90s and back then only boys seemed to have high functioning autism. In fact, my younger brother was diagnosed with high functioning autism as a small child.
The reason that girls are often overlooked is that girls mature faster than boys and they usually have a better ability to adapt to their situations and blend in.
However, once I had my first child and she started to have symptoms of autism, I was later tested and diagnosed with high functioning autism at 26 years old. Now as an adult I have had to learn more about how to handle my symptoms. Being diagnosed literally changed my life, but I really wish I had been diagnosed as a child so I could have received therapy and understanding.
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Borderline Intellectual Functioning And Other Essence
The cooccurrence of BIF and ASD is also common. Many children receiving a diagnosis of high-functioning autism/ASD have a tested IQ level corresponding to BIF . Several studies have shown that children with diagnoses of DCD and DLD often have slightly below-average levels of IQ and would fit under a DSM-5V-code of BIF . As in the case of ADHD, it is possible that some children with these diagnoses really only have BIF.
Lindsay D.G. Thomson, Louise Robinson, in, 2010
Ways To Manage Anger In Children With High Functioning Autism
One study looked at children with ASD who did not have any intellectual disability in relation to the Collaborative and Proactive Solutions . CPS, formerly Collaborative Problem Solving, is used to help children with oppositional defiance disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder with their challenging behaviors.
Parents and children work together to change how they view and solve certain problems by changing the mindset from what a child wont do to what they cant do. When a parent sees that certain environmental demands dont coincide with their childs delayed skills, they learn to identify which skills are delayed and decide which problems are most important on which to focus. Then parents learn how to discuss this with their child, and both parent and child learn how to understand the other persons issues while coming up with a solution. This allows both parties to discuss what the child would do if they did have the resources to be able to follow through on the task.
A controlled trial showed that this treatment is very helpful for children with ODD, ages 7 to 14, if they participated in a given number of follow-up sessions. The trial did not focus on children with autism spectrum disorder, even though the skills that are focused on in CPS are, according to the American Psychiatric Association , the same ones that children with ASD are deficient in and could cause anger or challenging behavior.
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High Functioning Autism And Other Types Of Autism
This can lead to social anxiety and, in some cases, social phobia caused by the perception that certain social stimuli may cause a threat. One example of this was indicated in a study when individuals with autism spectrum disorder were shown faces devoid of any display of emotion, and they determined the faces as exhibiting negative emotion. This perception could lead to feelings of social judgement or rejection.
In a 2012 study by Samson, Huber, and Gross, it was determined that people with higher functioning autism have higher feelings of nervousness and emotional upset than individuals who are not on the spectrum. A lot of these feelings are brought on by frustration due to social difficulties or communication struggles school, work or family expectations sensory overstimulation or even difficulties with processing information. Many people with higher functioning autism have issues or problems understanding other peoples perspectives or why others behave as they do.
One study looked at 25 adolescents with ASD who did not have any intellectual disability and who were verbal alongside a control group of 24 adolescents without ASD to determine if there were an association between anger rumination and a variety of symptoms and aggression. Five different measures were used which included the Anger Rumination Scale with 19 questions on which the adolescents would answer in regard to thinking about, remembering, and solving problems in relation to anger feelings.
Diagnosis Of Autism In Adults
There are currently no standard diagnostic criteria for adults with suspected ASD, but they are in development.
In the meantime, clinicians primarily diagnose adults with ASD through a series of in-person observations and interactions. They also take into consideration any symptoms the person reports experiencing.
If youre interested in being evaluated for ASD, begin with your family doctor, who will evaluate you to be certain that there isnt an underlying physical illness accounting for your behaviors. Your doctor may then refer you to a psychiatrist or psychologist for in-depth assessment.
The clinician will want to talk with you about any issues you have regarding communication, emotions, behavioral patterns, range of interests, and more. Youll answer questions about your childhood, and your clinician might request to speak with your parents or other older family members to gain their perspectives about your lifelong behavior patterns.
If the diagnostic criteria for children are being used for reference, your clinician can ask your parent questions from that list, relying on their memories of you as a child for further information.
If your clinician determines that you didnt display symptoms of ASD in childhood, but instead began experiencing symptoms as a teen or adult, you may be evaluated for other possible mental health or affective disorders.
Because most autism diagnoses are made in children, it could be a challenge to find a provider who will diagnose adults.
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As Autism Awareness Increases Across The Country More Parents Are Gaining An Understanding That Their Kids Are Not Just Socially Awkward Or Late Bloomers But That They Are Living With An Autistic Spectrum Disorder
There are different levels of disability on the Spectrum. Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism are the mildest. HFA, though no longer an accepted medical term, refers to a wide range of neurodevelopmental disorders and is quite similar to AS. However, the two can be differentiated by specific characteristics more commonly associated with one than the other. If you are concerned your child may be living with HFA, understanding the distinct signs and symptoms of HFA may help you decide if you need to look for treatment for autism in Little Rock.
Autism Symptoms In Adults At Home
Other peoples feelings baffle you. You have a collection of figurines on your desk that must be in the same order at all times. These, and other common manifestations of ASD, may be apparent in adults at home:
- Your family members lovingly refer to you as the eccentric professor of the family, even though you dont work in academia.
- Youve always wanted a best friend, but never found one.
- You often invent your own words and expressions to describe things.
- Even when youre in a quiet place, like the library, you find yourself making involuntary noises like clearing your throat over and over.
- You follow the same schedule every day of the week, and dont like unexpected events.
- Expressions like, Curiosity killed the cat or Dont count your chickens before they hatch are confusing to you.
- You are always bumping into things and tripping over your own feet.
- In your leisure time, you prefer to play individual games and sports, like golf, where everyone works for themselves instead of working toward a common goal on a team.
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Symptoms Of Autism Spectrum Disorder In Adults
Common symptoms of autism in adults include:
- Difficulty interpreting what others are thinking or feeling
- Trouble interpreting facial expressions, body language, or social cues
- Difficulty regulating emotion
- Trouble keeping up a conversation
- Inflection that does not reflect feelings
- Difficulty maintaining the natural give-and-take of a conversation prone to monologues on a favorite subject
- Tendency to engage in repetitive or routine behaviors
- Only participates in a restricted range of activities
- Strict consistency to daily routines outbursts when changes occur
- Exhibiting strong, special interests
Autism spectrum disorder is typically a life-long condition, though early diagnosis and treatment can make a tremendous difference.
Treatment For Autism In Little Rock
If you or your childs doctor are concerned about the presence of any of these symptoms or your child has been diagnosed with autism, Integrity, Inc. can help you find support services for children experiencing autism in Little Rock. Visit Integrity Inc. online or call us at 406-0442 to learn more. We can provide information about what autism is and how your child can lead a normal life.
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Different Types Of Autism
No two people with autism have the same symptoms and behavior. And because there are so many variables involved in autism diagnosis, the way each person experiences and exhibits autism can be very different.
There are varying diagnoses within the category of autism, and under the umbrella of high functioning autism subtypes include aspergers syndrome, pathological demand avoidance, Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified also known as atypical autism. Sometimes doctors will indicate a child has mild or severe autism or even mention Broad Autism Phenotype.
For the purpose of this article, we will focus on defining what high functioning autism is, and how it is expressed.
Negative Reactions To Certain Sounds Smells Textures
One of the biggest signs that I hear of high functioning autism is when your child has negative reactions to certain sounds, smells or textures.
So for sounds, if your child has a very difficult time with loud noises or needs everything to be very loud this is common for autistic children.
And if your child is bothered by smells to a point where it seems unbearable. .
Lastly, if your child only likes certain textures and can not handle other textures, this is a possible sign of high functioning autism. My children and I have several texture issues especially when it comes to foods.
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When To Seek Medical Advice
Early intervention is very important in children with autism spectrum disorder. Services such as speech therapy and behavioral and skills training are more effective if begun when a child is young.
For this reason, it is helpful to receive a diagnosis as early as possible. However, many children remain undiagnosed until they are in school. Some people are not diagnosed until they are adults.
If you suspect someone has autism, including yourself, contact a medical professional as soon as possible.
The Difference Between Autism And Aspergers
Aspergers and high-functioning autism tend to be misunderstood due to the fact that they are both on the autism spectrum. Aspergers syndrome is one of the two main forms of autism. There are similarities between the two, which makes it confusing at times to distinguish one from the other. Though there are similarities, there are key differences that distinguish high-level autism from aspergers syndrome. When reading this blog, it is important that only a few similarities and differences are highlighted. Autism and aspergers are complex and research still shows new results.
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Modifications That Support Learning For A Wide Range Of Students
It would be extremely inappropriate for a teacher to share a students private diagnosis with their classmates. However, there are ways to encourage social interaction that support all students and do not require identifying an individual student or their specific needs. These include:
- Simplifying language and class plans
- Keeping a visual schedule
- Flagging transitions
- Individualizing lesson plans when needed
These modifications help students with HFA or AS and also enhance learning for sensory integration disorder children or others who may need concrete support mechanisms. Creating small circles of support or partnerships can help all students avoid bullying and practice empathy. The social connections that come from small groups tend to break down bullying behavior and support peer connection.
Not Classic Autism Symptoms
The biggest problem with high functioning autism is that many parents and even some doctors are not sure what to look for. This is mostly because high functioning autistics can often blend in and adapt to situations.
As I said, when you think of Autism you often picture a child who is nonverbal and rocking back and forth in a corner. However, there are definitely clear signs of high functioning autism. They are just not necessarily the classic autism symptoms that you hear about.