Things To Know About Angelman Syndrome

Today is International Angelman Syndrome Day. It is a day to bring awareness to this disorder.

Image result for angelman syndrome infographic

Angelman Syndrome is a genetic disorder that affects the nervous system, characteristics that include developmental delays, intellectual disability, and speech impairments. Angelman syndrome generally go unnoticed until the age of 1 year. Children typically have a happy demeanor and have a fascination with water

Advertisements

Early Intervention-Resources and Information

Early intervention services are provided through the IDEA Act-  a law that makes available a free appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities throughout the nation and ensures special education and related services.

Early interventions are covered under the IDEA Act and is defined to meet the developmental needs of an infant or toddler with a disability and the needs of the family to assist appropriately in the infants or toddler’s development as identified by the IFSP team in any one or more of the following areas:

  1. Physical Development
  2. Cognitive Development
  3. Communication Development
  4. Social or Emotional Development
  5. Adaptive Development 

IDEA Part C regulations also include intervention services that fall  under the law including:

  1. Assistive technology
  2. Audiology service
  3. Family Training
  4. Health services
  5. Medical Services
  6. Nursing Services
  7. Nutritional
  8. Occupational Therapy
  9. Physical therapy
  10. Psychological Services
  11. Service Coordinator
  12. Sign Language
  13. Social Work
  14. Special Instructions
  15. Speech-language pathology
  16. Transportation and related costs
  17. Vision services

The Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (ECTA) provides information on family rights, procedural safeguards and complaint resolution

For Military families with children with disabilities, click here to locate the Parent Training Information Center in Your state. There is also a Military Parent Technical Assistance Center

Additional Resources for Military Personnel

National Military Family Association

Resources Especially for Military Families

Resources for Military Families of Children with Disabilities

Locating Early Intervention Centers In Your Area

ECTA maintains a list of websites here.

For more information including resources, worksheets, and activities, please visit my Pinterest Board

Epilepsy Seizures May Promote Autism Symptoms in Angleman Syndrome, Study Finds

Epilepsy Seizures May Promote Autism Symptoms in Angelman Syndrome, Study Finds
Written by: Patricia Inacio. Ph.d
Published by: Angelman Syndrome News

Epileptic seizures contribute more than previously thought to autism symptoms in patients with Angelman syndrome, according to researchers.

The study, “Effect of epilepsy on autism symptoms in Angelman syndrome,” was published in the journal Molecular Autism. Autism and epilepsy often co-occur in patients with Angelman syndrome, but the extent to which the association between autism symptoms and epilepsy is due to shared aetiology or to the direct effects of seizures was unclear. Click here to the rest of the story.

Assistive Technology Switches for Children and Adults With Physical Disabilities

Assistive technology devices are identified in the IDEA 2004 as, any item, piece of equipment or product system, whether acquired commercially off the shelf, modified or customized, that is used to increase, maintain or improve the functional capabilities of children with disabilities.

Switches fall under this category which allows people with physical disabilities such as cerebral palsy to manipulate their environment by controlling various types of adaptive and assistive switches used for environmental control and communication devices.

The following are resources for assistive technology switches:

Ablenet- Helps people with disabilities through the creation of assistive technology. Ablenet provides switches for both children and adults.

Adaptive Tech Solutions– A therapist-owned and operated company which provides adaptive equipment for individuals with disabilities

eSpecial Needs– Provides adaptive switches to children and adults with physical disabilities which allows them to manipulate their environment.

Enabling Devices– Creates customized one-of-a-kind assistive technology devices for communication, education and playing.

Rehabmart– sells inclusive learning devices which help children with impairments including augmentative communication and adaptive toys

Assistive Technology Websites

Glenda Assistive Technology Information and More– A website containing information on various types of assistive technology including visual supports, AAC, switches and tablets

Teaching Learners With Multiple Special Needs- Created by Kate Ahern, an assistive technology specialist. This website serves as a resource for teachers or learners with severe, profound, or multiple special needs. There is a great article on 60 things to do with a single switch 

Articles 

Assistiveware- How to Support a Student Who Uses a Switch Device

Breezy Special Ed- How to use your iPAD as a switch device

Perkins School for the Blind: Favorite Cause and Affect Switch Apps

Understood- Checklist: What to consider when looking at assistive technology

For more ideas and resources, visit my Pinterest Site:  Assistive Technology

 

The Challenges and Gifts of Dyslexia: An Infograph

Dyslexia is a learning disorder characterized by difficulty in reading. Children and adults with dyslexia have normal intelligence but experience challenges with spelling, reading and writing words. There are also positive traits with dyslexia. See the infographic below:

The
The Challenges and Gifts of Dyslexia by Wooden Toy Shop.

Smithsonian Exhibit Puts Focus On Accessible Design

Publisher: Disability Scoop
Written by: Shaun Heasley

From clothing to utensils and computers, a new exhibit is showcasing the varied and increasing ways that today’s world is adapting to accommodate the needs of people with disabilities.

The display at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum dubbed “Access+Ability” includes over 70 works that highlight how design is making a broad range of experiences more inclusive.

Divided into three sections — moving, connecting and living — the exhibit features the latest in cane technology, clothing with magnets and other accessibility modifications, eye-controlled speech-generating devices and more innovations.

Click here for the rest of the story

Free Lesson Plans That Teach Money Skills

Money skills teaches more than identifying coins and bills. Teaching children with disabilities also helps to strengthen fine motor skills, task initiation, and sequencing skills.

The following websites provide activities and lesson plans which are free to download on a variety of activities:

Education World- A money math match activity where students will learn that different combinations of coins can represent the same amount of money.

Money Instructor– Free lesson plans on basic money skills including counting money, money math, vocabulary, coloring, handwriting, tracing activities and money games.

Practical Money Skills– A website designed to teach money skills including special needs children and adults. Includes lesson plans on making decisions, shopping, banking services and understanding credit. The website includes a teacher’s guide, student activities and PowerPoint presentations.

The Teachers Corner– A generated money worksheet. The worksheets allow you to choose from different currencies.

United States Currency Education Program– Offers a wide range of free education and training resources including money coloring sheets and printable play money

United States Mint-Produces circulating coinage in the United States. This webpage includes lessons for grades K-12 with lessons on each of the coins which are free to download.

Signs of Autism and Down Syndrome

Studies show that 5 to 39% of children with Down syndrome are also on the autism spectrum. There are overlaps in some of the symptoms which delays the signs and symptoms of autism. This observation is slowly growing and informing parents to look for specific signs and symptoms.

The importance of getting the diagnosis
Most often children with Down syndrome are treated for the characteristics of having Down syndrome which overlooks giving children the appropriate treatment for Autism such as social skills and sensory issues. A child or young adult with both diagnosis will likely experience aggressive behaviors, meltdowns, and show signs of regression during their early development. The following are signs and symptoms to look for in your child, or student:
  • Hand flapping
  • Picky eater
  • Echolalia
  • Fascination with lights
  • Staring at ceiling fans
  • History of regression
  • Head banging
  • Strange vocalization
  • Anxiety
  • Seizure Disorder

If you suspect your child is dual diagnosed, make an appointment for a medical work up which should include:

  • audiological evaluation
  • lead test
  • complete blood count (CBC)
  • Liver function test
  • EEG

Autism and Sensory Overload

Even more challenging, it can be difficult for people with autism to “just ignore” sensory information as it comes in.So, unlike people with typical sensory systems, people on the spectrum may not be able to, for example, notice a car alarm going off and then decide not to listen to it. Some of the environmental challenges that can negatively impact people with autism include Click here to read the rest of the story

Strategies In Training Autistic Employees

Researchers estimate around 50,000 young people with autism turns 18 every year. Is your organization read to train these new employees?

What is Autistic Spectrum Disorder?

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a neurological disorder that includes a wide range (spectrum) of skills, symptoms and levels of support. Although no two people are alike, characteristics may include ongoing challenges with social skills that include difficulty and interacting with others. For those on the higher end of the spectrum, characteristics may include:

  • ·         A normal to high intelligence and good verbal skills
  • ·         Trouble understanding what someone else is thinking or feeling
  • ·         Difficulty understanding non-verbal cues
  • ·         May suffer from anxiety or depression
  • ·         Strong long-term memory
  • ·         May have executive functioning difficulties 
  • ·         Being highly creative
  • ·         A high sense of justice and fairness

It is important to note that autistic employees vary in the workplace. Younger employees may have received a diagnose very early their childhood while those in their 30’s to 50’s were more than likely diagnosed as adults. Many in fact may not realize they are autistic due to lack of information during their formative years. This rings true especially for women who did not fit the typical stereotype of autism.

Challenges Training Autistic Employees

The use of idioms, sarcasm, irony, metaphors and figure of speech may be difficult since most are literal thinkers.

Due to sensory sensitivities, harsh lighting and certain smells may be intolerable.

May feel anxiety working with groups during an activity, which includes role-playing and case studies.

Discomfort with noise

Coping with the unpredictable

Strategies In Training Autistic Employees
  • ·         Structured breaks- give notice in advance
  • ·         Give visual instructions. Verbal instructions are difficult to remember
  • ·         Do not assume that the employee is not listening or paying attention
  • ·         When explaining, use explicit and concrete language
Accommodations

A diagnosis of autism also qualifies under the American Disability Act (ADA).  While some may not want to disclose their diagnosis, It’s always a good idea to make sure each person is comfortable in the training. The following are some suggestions:

  • ·         Provide advance notice of topics to be discussed if possible
  • ·         Allow employees to use items to hold such as hand-help squeeze balls 
  • ·         Allow use of a noise-cancellation headset
Tips to Remember

Some autistic employees have a history of being bullied, which for many have carried over into the workplace.  Set rules in the beginning of the training that all participants should be respected.