What is Autistic Spectrum Disorder?
To explain ASD, it must be analyzed from psychological theories and biological theories. From psychological theories, the problem in ASD is lack of ability to read other people and from biological theories, it can be happened because of genetic basis (probably involving a number of interacting genes)
What is the Triad of Impairments in the Autistic Spectrum Disorder?
- Impairments of social interaction: Being aloof & wishing to remain isolated to interacting with others inappropriately and limited understanding of the two way nature of relationships.
- Impairments of social language and communication: Difficulty to understand non-verbal communication and metaphor
- Impairments of flexibility of thought and imagination: A preference for ritualistic and repetitive types of activity
The characteristics that are common in the language of children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder:
- Difficulty processing what has been said to them because it was too long, contained too many relative concepts, it was about something abstract, and it was said too quickly
- Echolalia (repeating what has just been said) in an effort to process information and to show that they are willing to respond but they just dont know how to
- has difficulty with reciprocating-> having a two way conversation
- A tendency to use either flat tone or an exaggeratedly ‘sing-song’ voice
The range of social communication difficulties for children with ASD:
- Difficulties with understanding and using all nonverbal forms of communication for example gesture, body language, personal space, and facial expressions
- Limited understanding of their own and other people’s feelings and emotions, very restricted empathy skills
- Use idiosyncratic way of communicating and dealing with social encounters for example beginning a conversation by kicking someone
- Needing to manage sensory overload during conversation for example little eye contact.
The areas of Language a Speech Therapist would usually assess a child with Autistic Spectrum Disorder:
- The words they know
- the flow of language they can understand
- The words they can recall and use
- the sentences and narrative they can construct including their use of grammar
The strategies in reducing sensory overloaded in an environment, for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder:
- Sight: make simple classroom displays & lighting effects
- Sound: Any nearby noise should be removed before they can be expected to tune into people’s tune
- Smell: Once the problem was identified, ask student to sit somewhere else and give something else to smell
- Taste: Let them smell the food or anything else since it s the way for them to have perception of safety
- Touch: Textures can be either greatly preferred and offer the child a degree of comfort or else can be highly aversive
The strategies for helping children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder deal with changes in their routine and environment:
- If possible, change only one thing at a time
- Use visual time table
- Use pictures, diagrams, and maps to show them different route
What are the strategies or techniques needed to help an autistic child cope when starting or changing schools?
- Extra visits to let them know more about their school
- Compile a collection of facts about the school which including map to go to school, photos of teachers, photos of rooms, time table etc
List the three main types of assessments that are used to diagnose a child with ASD:
- Direct assessment (it can be using Psycho Educational Profile Revised or the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule) which is administrated by specialist
- Diagnostic interviews by trained professionals to obtain a complete history of the child’s development
- Checklists and profiles are filled in by different people