A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak to a parent who voiced her frustration with her daughter’s school. Although her daughter is diagnosed with autism, she falls on the mild range of the spectrum meaning her deficits are ignored. This becomes challenging for a teacher who may not recognize the signs and symptoms of an autistic child.
Girls, in particular, often develop the ability to disappear in a large group. Imagine the amount of energy it takes to pretend you hold the same characteristics of others. This leads to both depression and anxiety in children with autism. There are also sensory challenges a student with autism may face including auditory, visual and tactile.
Reading non-verbal cues forces a child and even some autistic adults to work harder everyday which causes exhaustion and can possibly lead to anxiety.
There are a number of ways to accommodate a student with autism. If you are a teacher, read as much information as you can on autism. each child is different so it will help to get feedback from parents who can help provide the right accommodations.
The following articles provide great information on both modifications and accommodations which can be put into the child’s IEP:
Every morning, Avigael Wodinsky sets a timer to keep her 12-year-old son, Naftali, on track while he gets dressed for school. “Otherwise,” she says, “he’ll find 57 other things to do on the way to the bathroom.”
Wodinsky says she knew something was different about Naftali from the time he was born, long before his autism diagnosis at 15 months. He lagged behind his twin sister in hitting developmental milestones, and he seemed distant. “When he was an infant and he was feeding, he wouldn’t cry if you took the bottle away from him,” she says. He often sat facing the corner, turning the pages of a picture book over and over again. Although he has above-average intelligence, he did not speak much until he was 4, and even then his speech was often ‘scripted:’ He would repeat phrases and sentences he had heard on television. Read the rest of the story here
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:
Fascination with lights
Staring at ceiling fans
History of regression
If you suspect your child is dual diagnosed, make an appointment for a medical work up which should include:
People with autism are often highly sensitive to their environments. That, of course, means different things to different people on the spectrum — but in general people with autism have unusually sensitive “sensory” systems, meaning that their senses sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste can all be easily overloaded.
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
People with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) typically have difficulty processing sensory information such as sounds, sights, and smells. This is usually referred to as having issues with “sensory integration”, or having sensory sensitivity, and is caused by differences in how the brain of a person with ASD understands and prioritizes the sensory information picked up by the body’s many sensory receptors. When this breakdown in communication becomes too intense, the person with ASD may become overwhelmed, anxious, or even feel physical pain. When this occurs, some with ASD may act out. Click here to read the rest of the story.
With the holidays approaching, finding the right gift for someone with sensory issues can be challenging. Fidget toys are great gifts for both children and adults, especially for children diagnosed with autism and ADHD. Fidget toys provides sensory input in a less distracting way. They can help improve concentration and attention to task and also help children and adults focus and remain calm as well as decreases stress and anxiety.Below are links to a variety of fidgets including texture, tactile and visual.
Orange is a color that is associated with the fall months of October and November. It can also be used as a training activity for people with developmental disabilities.
Facts about the color orange:
Orange is the color between red and yellow
It is associated with amusement, extroverts, warmth, fire ,energy, danger taste, aroma and autumn
It is the national color of Netherlands
It is the symbolic color of Buddhism and Hinduism.
Activity: What’s in the Box
Learning Objective: to identify various items using a multi-sensory approach
Instructions: Place all items into an empty container such as a shoe box. Once completed, have participants sit in a circle and pass around the box. Give each person an opportunity to touch the object and to guess the name of the object. For people with a severe cognitive level or multi-disabilities, provide hand over hand guidance.
Discuss with the group or class the various sizes, the aroma, etc.
You can also do a compare and contrast activity by adding items into the box of different colors and having the group choose the orange items.
Have the group create a collage by cutting out items in a magazine that are orange. This will help with improving fine motor skills.
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.
Welcome to the September Article Links. These are articles that I have tweeted during the month of September. I tweet articles and links everyday. Please make sure you follow me and I will follow you back!