Person first language is an important ethical matter often discussed in the field of special education and disability advocacy. The idea that the important descriptor for a person is not their disability but that the disability is something that the person has is fundamental in framing the mindset that having a disability doesn’t mean that a person is less or incapable of success. It can be challenging enough to broach this subject with adults but how do we help children to understand what person first language means and why it is so important? I felt it might be helpful to share an approach with which I have had success. Click here to read the rest of the story
Welcome to the July article links. These are articles that I tweeted and or received from viewers during the month of July on special needs and developmental disability topics. A special thank you to Kathleen Carter for the additional special needs links!
People with autism are often described as being “high functioning” or ” low functioning” But there are no such diagnoses in the diagnostic manual.
In 2013, new diagnostic criteriafor autism were created to describe three levels of autism. These levels are supposed to describe the level of support each individual requires. But there is nothing in the criteria that describes which strengths or challenges would slot an individual into a particular level.
And of course the level of support required by any individual varies based on the situation and setting.
So what is meant by these terms? The answer isn’t obvious. Click here to read the rest of the story.
For some autistic children, social situations can be overwhelming and cause a great amount of anxiety. One of the characteristics of having an autism spectrum disorder is social interaction. Dr. Lorna Wing described social interaction as:
not paying attention to others
being aloof, distant and uninterested
being alone and withdrawal
difficulty in making and sustaining relationships
a lack of social skills
Social skills vary from conversation to friendship skills. The following links provides social skills resources on a variety of topics:
101 ways to teach children social skills. Written by Lawrence Shapiro, this ready-to-use reproducible activity book (pdf) contains information on communication, being part of a group, caring about yourself, and problem solving.
The autism spectrum is very large. If you think of it as a rainbow (or a bell curve), you’ll note that there’s an awful lot of the spectrum that is at neither one end nor the other — but somewhere in the middle.
At this point in history, we don’t have good information to tell us whether MOST people on the autism spectrum are “somewhere in the middle,” but it is clear that the lion’s share of media attention goes to folks at the high and the low ends of the spectrum — that is, the profoundly disabled and the very high functioning. Please click here to read the rest of the story.
Think autism and an image of an awkward boy typically emerges. The developmental disorder is at least four times more common in boys, but scientists taking a closer look are finding some gender-based surprises: Many girls with autism have social skills that can mask the condition. And some girls are born without autism despite the same genetic mutations seen in boys with the condition. Click here to read the rest of the story.
The Out-of-Sync Child Grows Up: Coping with Sensory Processing Disorder in the
Adolescent and Young Adult Years
By: Carol Kranowitz
Forward by: Lucy Jane Miller
Published by: Peguin Random House
Format: Paperback, Kindle
This book is the long-awaited follow-up to the best seller, The Out-Of-Sync Child. Presenting information and advice for tweens, teens, and young adults living with Sensory Processing Disorder, and their parents. The purpose of the book is to offer coping strategies for SPD, help readers living with SPD share their stories and to increase public awareness about SPD.
The book is broken into 4 parts. Ms. Kranowitz begins the first chapter with background history o how she started gathering information on SPD. Chapter 2 describes typical and atypical development. Part 2 describes coping with daily activities and part 3 explains coping with relationships while part 4 provides insight into living an “In-Sync” life.
The book also provides personal stories from people with SPD. Their stories move the book from one of practical tips to truly understanding the experiences of a child with SPD. The format of the book will help people with SPD realize they are not alone and help both parents and professionals understand the needs of a teen and young adult with SPD.