Day Habilitation May Activities

May Observances, Celebrations, Events and Holidays To Use As Ideas For Your Day Habilitation Program.

You can download the PDF format here: May Day Habilitation Activities

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Could motor problems be one source of autism’s social difficulties?

Source: Spectrum
Written By:

For 6-year-old Macey, lunchtime at school is not so much a break from reading and math as it is an hour rife with frustration.

Here’s how Macey’s mother, Victoria, describes Macey’s typical lunch break: In her special-education classroom an hour north of San Francisco, Macey’s classmates gather at a big square table, chattering away and snatching one another’s food. Macey, meanwhile, is sequestered away at a small white table in a corner, facing a bookshelf. She grabs the handle of a spoon using the palm of her right hand, awkwardly scoops up rice and spills it onto her lap. She wants to be at the big table with her peers, but she sits with an aide away from the other children to minimize distractions while she eats. (Victoria requested that we use her and Macey’s first names only, to protect their privacy.)

After lunch, the children spill out onto the playground. Macey, wearing a helmet, trails behind, holding her aide’s hand. She can walk, but she often trips on uneven surfaces and falls over. She tends to misjudge heights, and once pulled a muscle while climbing on playground equipment. When she was 3, she tripped and fell headfirst out of a sandbox, scraping her face, chipping one tooth and dislodging another. Click here to read the rest of the story

Williams Syndrome and Teaching Strategies

Williams Syndrome also known as Williams-Beuren syndrome was discovered in 1961 by J.C.P. Williams, a Cardiologist from New Zealand. Williams Syndrome is a rare disorder with a prevalence of in 7,500 to 20,000 caused by the deletion of genetic material from chromosome 7. Williams syndrome symptoms include heart problems, low birth weight, l problems and developmental delays. 75 are diagnosed with mile to moderate intellectual disabilities or a learning disability.

Physical characteristics include:

Musculoskeletal

Almond shape eyes

Broad forehead

long neck

Longer upper lip

Puffiness around the eyes

sloping shoulders

Small chin

Small upturned nose

Wide mouth

Learning Characteristics

  • ADHD
  • Enjoys music
  • Developmental delay
  • Excellent long-term memory
  • Learning disability
  • Poor fine motor skills
  • Seizures
  • Tactile defensiveness

Teaching Strategies

Students with Mild intellectual disabilities will have difficulty with abstract thinking, executive functioning including planning, prioritizing, and cognitive flexibility. According to the Williams Syndrome Association Website, Children with Williams Syndrome face challenges with processing non-verbal information and displays difficulty with attention to detail.

Strategies should include:

  • Using short sentences
  • Repeat directions
  • Break task into small steps
  • Use concrete examples when introducing new words or concepts.
  • Teach one concept at a time
  • Use a multisensory approach which will help to stimulate learning
  • Utilize visual learning style including the use of flash cars, pictures, images, handouts and colors.

Reference

Williams Syndrome Association

Williams Syndrome- Facts and Statistics

May is Williams Syndrome Awareness Month. It is a rare genetic condition that affects over 1 in 10,000 people worldwide. If you teach in a special needs classroom or work in an adult day habilitation program, it is likely you have experienced working and teaching a student or individual diagnosed with Williams Syndrome. Below you will find some interesting facts and statistics on the disorder:

  • It is a genetic condition that is present a birth.
  • It is a developmental disorder
  • Tend to have a mild or moderate intellectual disability.
  • It is also known as Beuren Syndrome and Williams-Beuren Syndrome.
  • The symptoms were first described by John C.P. Williams in 1961.
  • A year later, German Physician, A.J. Beuren described three new incidents of patients with similar facial features.
  • It is caused by the spontaneous deletion of 26-28 genes on Chromosome #7
  • The deletion is caused by either the sperm or the egg.
  • The deletion is present at the time of conception
  • The most common symptoms of Williams Syndrome includes unusual facial features and heart defects.
  • The diagnosis is typically confirmed after identifying facial features and genetic testing.
  • An individual with Williams Syndrome has a 50% chance of passing the disorder on to their children.
  • Williams Syndrome affects 1 in 10,000 people worldwide.
  • An estimated 20,000 to 30,000 people in the United States are affected.
  • It occurs in both males and females equally
  • It is found in every culture
  • Individuals with Williams Syndrome tend to be overly friendly.
  • People with Williams Syndrome often have difficulty with visual-spatial tasks
  • Congenital heart defects (CHD) occur in approximately 75 percent of children
  • By the age of 30, the majority of individuals with Williams Syndrome have pre-diabetes or diabetes.

 

 

References

Genetics Home Reference

National Organizations for Rare Diseases

William Syndrome Association

Antipsychotics and Autism: Weighing the Benefits, Eyeing the Risks

Source: Interactive Autism Network
Written By: Marina Sarris

Children and adults with autism are sometimes prescribed an array of psychiatric drugs for hyperactivity, poor attention, or challenging behaviors. One type of medication, called antipsychotics, has become something of a “go-to” treatment for the most severe behaviors. According to the latest studies, one in five or six youth with autism has taken them,1,2 along with 43 percent of adults with autism, on average.3 Antipsychotics are the most frequently used type of psychiatric drug in autism.3

That may be because two antipsychotics are the only drugs approved specifically for certain behaviors in children and teens with autism.1 The U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave its stamp of approval to aripiprazole (brand name Abilify) and risperidone (brand name Risperdal) for “irritability” in autism – namely self-injury and aggression – almost a decade ago. More recently, the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality weighed the scientific evidence on those medications. It found significant benefits and also “harms,” or bad side effects.5 The drugs reduce challenging and repetitive behaviors when compared to no treatment. They also are associated with significant weight gain, sedation, tremors and movement disorders, it noted. Click here to read the rest of the story

Spring Fine Motor Activities

Spring has finally arrived! birds are signing, trees are budding and flowers are blooming. There is no better tome to strengthen fine motor skills for children and adults with developmental disabilities. Fine motor activities improve independent living skills including feeding, dressing and writing. The links below provide spring-themed activities providing opportunities to improve the child or adult’s pincer grasp by using scissors and pencils.

5 Spring inspired fine motor activities– Brain Balance

10 fine motor activities for spring- You Aut- Aknow

10 flower fine motor skills activities- Harry Brown House

40 fine motor skills activities– The Imagination Tree

Fine motor and color matching Flowers– The Kindergarten Connection

Fine motor and sensory play for spring using a sand-tray– Buggy and Buddy

Spring crafts for preschool fine motor skills– Lalymom

Spring fine motor and executive function skills freebie- Your Therapy Source

Spring fine motor activity tray– Little Bins Little Hands

Spring themed fine motor sensory activity– Hands On As We Grow

Spring-themed fine motor activities– Pink Oatmeal

5 Perfectly Awful Ways to Motivate an ADHD Brain

Source: Additude
Written by: Tamara Rosier

Many of us with attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD) have less reliable access to our prefrontal cortex (PFC) than do neurotypical people. Life’s details are managed in the PFC. It is a calm, rational butler, directing behavior in a Siri-toned voice: “Sir, your keys are on the table.” Or, “Madam, you must leave now if you want to arrive on time.”

Those of us with ADHD can’t rely on our PFC butler for planning, short-term memory, working memory, decision-making, and impulse management. So we go to our emotional centers, in the limbic system, to remember things, make decisions, and to motivate ourselves. We use our emotions to help us to think, remember, plan, and act. Click here to read the rest of the story.

Autism and Sleep Disorders

Autistic and children and adults usually have more than one co-disorder. For some, it is having difficulty with sleeping. 40% to 80% of autistic children and adults suffer from insomnia and other sleeping disorders.

Autistic children and adults experience insomnia at high levels. Insomnia is characterized by difficulty in falling and staying asleep which is caused by anxiety, stress and depression. Autistic children and adults have high levels of both anxiety and depression. There is also evidence that children with autism spectrum disorder are reported to experience high levels of Parasomnias, defined as a group of sleep disorders involving unwanted events displayed by complexed behaviors during sleep. This includes:

  • Bed Wetting
  • Sleep Hallucination
  • Nightmares
  • Night Terrors
  • Sleep Walking

Bedtime Tips (Autism Research Institute)

Autism Spectrum Disorder and Sleep (Tuck)

Helping your child with Autistic get a good night’s sleep (WebMD)

How to get kids with autism to bed (Sleep Advisor)

How to get children with autism to sleep (Scientific American)

Sleep problems in autism explained (Spectrum)

Sleep problems linked to more severe autism symptoms (Interactive Autism Network)

The link between autism and sleep issues (VeryWell)

The ultimate guide to improving sleep in autistic children (HARKLA)

Wide Awake: Why children with autism struggle with sleep (Spectrum)

Reference

Denani, P., & Hegde, A.(2015). Autism and Sleep Disorders. Journal of Pediatric Neurosciences 10(4)

 

For Many With Autism, Running Is A Sport That Fits

Published By: Runners World
Written By: Alison Wade

Tommy Des Brisay had an insatiable need to move when he was a child.

He began walking at 8 months old. He would bounce on his backyard trampoline for hours and climb heights fearlessly. He slept only three hours a night until he was 7. As he grew older, he would go on long tandem bike rides, cross-country ski, and lead his father on walks that would leave them stranded miles from their home in Ottawa, Ontario.

And when he was stressed or upset, Des Brisay—who was diagnosed with autism when he was 2 and a half—would run. This posed a danger, because he didn’t understand what could harm him: traffic, exposure to weather, strangers. Click here to read the rest of the story

Autism Facts and Statistics

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that impacts social, speech, behavioral and motor skills. It is a spectrum disorder meaning it varies from person to person. No two people have the same symptoms. It is estimated that 1% of the population is diagnosed with autism.

Prevalence

About 1 in 40 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

1 in 42 boys are diagnosed with autism

1 in 189 girls are diagnosed with autism

100 individuals are diagnosed everyday

ASD is reported to occur in all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic groups.

ASD is 4 times more common among boys than girls.

Studies in Asia, Europe, and North American have idendified individuals with ASD  with an average prevalence of between 1% and 2%.

About 1 in 6 children diagnosed with autism also have a developmental disability.

Parents who have a child with ASD have a 2%-18% chance of having a second child diagnosed with autism

Almost half (44%) of children diagnosed with ASD has average to above average intellectual ability.

ASD commonly co-occurs with other developmental, psychiatric, neurological, chromosomal and genetic diagnoses.


Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Facts

Children and adults with Autism have significant problems in socializing with others, emotions, intense preoccupation with one or two topics, repetitive routines and motor skills.

Tend to be sensitive to sensations of sound, light or touch.

It is a common myth that autistic children can perform amazing skills such as memorizing birthdays and telephone numbers.

30% of autistic children have a seizure disorder

40% of children with autism do not speak

25-30% of children with autism have some words at 12 to 18 months, and then lose them.

Between 60% and 80% of children with ASD have a sleep-related disorder

Females tend to be more likely to show accompany intellectual disabilities.

Studies show that parents notice a developmental problem before the child’s first birthday

Lorna Wing, a psychiatrist and mother of a child with autism termed the word Autism Spectrum to describe a concept of complexities rather than a straight line from severe to mild.

Victor Lotter was the first person to  measure the prevalence of autism in a population.

Autistic Women and Girls

Stimming

  • It is also prevalent among people on the autism spectrum.
  • In fact in many cases, it is part of the diagnosis due to the repetition of stimming.
  • Stimming is often used as a means to self-regulate, self-calm and for self-expression.
  • The movements are repetitive and are used to self-stimulate the 7 senses.
  • It is often described as a repetitive motor behavior that can disrupt academic and social and other activities.
  • One of the theories behind stimming is that beta-endorphrins are released in the brain casuing an euphoric feeling which is generally a response to pain.
  • Stimming behavior. based for self-soothing and to help a child or an adult regain emotional balance.
  • Sensory Overload. Too much sensory information can lead to stress, anxiety and eventually a meltdown.

Wandering Statistics

  • Nearly half of children with autism engage in wandering behavior
  • Increased risks are associated with autism severity
  • More than one third of children with autism who wander/elope are never or rarely able to communicate their name, address, or phone number
  • Half of families report they have never received advice or guidance about elopement from a professional
  • Accidental drowning accounts for 71% of lethal outcomes, followed by traffic injuries at 18%
  • Other dangers include dehydration; heat stroke; hypothermia; falls; physical restraint; encounters with strangers
  • Accidental drowning accounted for 91% total U.S. deaths reported in children with autism due to wandering.

Image result for wandering autism

 

Reference

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

National Autism Association

Spectrum News