Media is slowly getting better in it’s portrayal of people with autism in both movies and television, while many still hold onto to the perception of “Rain Man”, I do believe we are moving in the right direction. Still, little is discussed or talked about when it comes to children and adults with severe autism. Some may refer to severe autism as “low functioning when in fact autism is a spectrum in both symptoms and behaviors and varies from person to person.
Children and adults with severe autism often display the following signs :
Impaired social interaction
Difficulty in communicating- both expressive and receptive
Obsessive compulsive disorder
According to the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), there are 3 levels of severity based on social communication impairments, restricted, and patterns of behaviors. The severity level (Level 3) is defined as requiring very substantial support. For example the person may exhibit very limited initiation of social interaction and extreme difficulty with coping and change. signs may include an indifference in others, using negative behavior to communicate, very little or echolalia, sensory sensitivity will vary from severe to none, may be self-injurious and have an intellectual disability. Below you will find articles on understanding severe nonverbal autism:
Annual awareness observances are sponsored by federal, health and non-profit organizations. Awareness campaigns serve the purpose of informing and educating people on a certain cause. Each year, the number of special needs organizations bringing awareness to specific disabilities and disorders seem to grow. Awareness activities range from one day to a month.
The calendar includes major special needs awareness months, weeks, and days. Most websites include awareness toolkits, promotional materials and fact sheets. This page focus is on awareness activities that impact people with intellectual and developmental disabilities only.
One definition of a foundation refers to it being an anchor and providing a solid surface upon which to build.
In a world of quick fixes and instant solutions when supporting individuals with autism we are all at risk of being drawn in to trying interventions and approaches that offer a quick fix or an easy solution without having to do all the hard work of laying the foundations that will help ensure success.
Over many years of working with children and adults with autism I have learnt that what often works is taking time to lay the foundations, that is to ensure we have both the values and best practice in place to support what we do. In this article I explore some of the basics that help provide a firm foundation upon which we can build successful interventions and approaches.
The person with autism has a right to be consulted with and involved in all aspects of living their lives including what approaches and interventions are used
Underpinning all we do should be a commitment to seeking the views and opinions of the person with autism irrespective of their abilities and how autism impacts upon them. Whilst we may take this for granted in the past we might have often put approaches and strategies in place without consulting and actively involving the person with autism and then wondered why they were not successful. I will cover this area in more detail in a future article; however, for now it is worth considering and asking yourself the following:
1. What support and methods can we put in place to enable the person with autism to be fully involved, make comments and make real choices regarding their lives and the support they receive? This can include the use of photographs, symbols, video clips or one of the many Apps that are now available for smart devices. Click here to read the rest of the story.
An 18-year-old software developer has created an iOS app to help those on the autistic spectrum in their day-to-day lives.
Ethan Shallcross, who has a form of autism and lives in the English town of Torquay, developed Aumi to enable people to manage their anxiety, monitor their mental health and reduce burnout.
“The app has been built with people on the autism spectrum in mind, and his has influenced the design and functionality of the entire app,” he says. “However, it is not just for people on the autism spectrum. People who have high anxiety, are frequently burnt out, or struggle with their mental health may also find it useful.” Click here to read the rest of the story.