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.
Awareness Day: April 1st World Autism Day
Awareness Month: April
Names Known By:
- Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism Ribbon: The autism ribbon continues to evolve as a symbol representing people with autism. The puzzle piece was first used in 1963 by a parent and board member of the National Autistic Society in London indicating the puzzling, confusing nature of autism. In 1999, the puzzle piece ribbon was adopted as the universal sign of autism awareness by the Autistic Society reflecting the complexity of the autism spectrum. Overtime both the puzzle and ribbon have become a symbol for seeing autism as something that is puzzling and needs to be fixed rather than acceptance. Many in the autistic community prefer a more positive symbol such as the infinity loop which is used as a symbol for acceptance rather than awareness. You can read more on the history of ribbon on this article entitled: The ableist history of the puzzle piece symbol for autism
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
Autism Teacher Blogs
Savvy teachers are creating and developing blogs on teaching children with autism. Many of the blogs give first -person accounts while others share classroom activities, lesson plans and classroom management.
The following links discuss strategies on engaging learners and managing students in a classroom setting.
Autism and Classroom Management: Interventions that Work (Bright Hub Education)
Autism Classroom Management (Edutopia)
Classroom Management for ASD Students (Autism Investigation Project)
Classroom Management for Students with Autism (Amy Glade-Prezi.com)
Classroom Management in an Autism Classroom (Minds in Bloom)
Classroom Tips and Strategies
The following links are tips and strategies that are specific to teaching techniques and helpful information on setting up the classroom, data collection and scheduling.
10 Practical Tips for Classroom Aids of Autistic Children (colotraining.com)
Teaching Students in Inclusive Classrooms (Child-autism-Parent-Café)
Tips for Teaching Students with Autism (Scholastic)
Tips for Working with Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Project Independence)
Tips for Working with Autistic Children (Love to Know)
Teaching College Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (Faculty Focus)
Teaching Tips for Children and Adults with Autism (Temple Grandin)
Social Skills Lessons
Articles, tips and lesson plan information on social skills development
5 Tips for Running a Social Skills Group Ages 7-11 (Super Power Speech)
How I Use the Social Thinking Curriculum to Teach Flexible Thinking (The Autism Vault Blog)
How to Run a Social Skills Group (Speech and Language Kids)
Social Skills Activities for Kids with Autism (Love to Know)
Social Skills Training Groups (Autism Speaks, PowerPoint Presentation)
Tips for Teaching Social Skills When it does Not Come Easy (Lemon Lime Adventures)
12 Tips for Setting up an Autism Classroom (Principal Kendrick’s Blog)
Seven Steps for Setting up a Stellar Autism Classroom (The Autism Helper)
Life Skills for Children and Teens with Autism (North Shore Pediatric Therapy)
Social Life on the Spectrum (Autism after 16)
Teaching Important Life Skills (Autism Speaks)
Teacher Resource Sites
The following sites are great resources specifically for teachers working with children with autism. Many of the sites include free downloads and other resources including curriculums, lesson plans and data collection.
A resource for teachers, therapist and parents including a free IEP goal bank, parent resources and an assortment of tools and resources on a variety of topics. Autism Educators, Inc. is currently offering a Teacher’s Wish List promotion.
This site includes information for individuals with autism and other developmental disorders. Links include information on topics such as toys and games, curriculum management and child safety just to name a few.
This site contains free resources on lesson plans on a variety of topics including data collection, seasonal, inclusion for teachers and life skills. A great site for parents, therapist and teachers.
Downloadable printables on topics relating to body parts, colors, data recording, handwriting and emotions.
Provides therapeutic tools and resources for individuals on the autism spectrum.
A resource website for parents, therapist and teachers. Resources include information on fine motor, structured task, social skills, and at home.
Provides more than 100 pages of free printable items.
An autism blog created by Sasha Long, a board certified behavior analysis and certified special education teacher.