ASD for Educators for release 210911 - Te Kete Ipurangi
Autism Spectrum A resource for educators Disorder The more information my teachers have, the more ideas they have to help me learn. Introduction
This presentation is to give teachers an introduction to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and how it might affect a student in a classroom It describes the core characteristics of ASD and supports the booklet: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) - A resource for educators It aims to give a taste of what it might be like to stand in the shoes of a student with ASD and gives some guidance and strategies to incorporate goals for students with ASD within The New Zealand Curriculum 3 Prevalence and cause The wider spectrum of ASD is thought to affect about 1% of the population or more than 40,000 New Zealanders The cause(s) of ASD are not known, but genetic factors are
considered important While there is no cure, a great deal is known about how to minimise the impact of the condition and many people with ASD make good progress 4 What is ASD? Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is the name for a group of conditions where a person has a noticeable delay or difficulty in three important areas of development: communication social interaction thinking (sometimes referred to as imagination) In addition, many students with ASD under- or over-react to sensory information
5 About ASD ASD (autism spectrum disorder) includes autism and Asperger syndrome, as well as some other disorders with similar features ASD is a developmental disorder. What you see will vary with age and will vary over time There is also a group of people who have significant difficulties in one or two of these areas, but who may not meet the criteria for an ASD 6 What does ASD look like? Each student with ASD will be very different because of: their level of difficulties in each area of development
their family setting and circumstances their level of intellectual ability individual factors such as personality, age and gender Some people with ASD also have other disorders (such as epilepsy) 7 How do children learn? Using visual, verbal and written communication Learning from others by interacting, observing and asking questions Problem solving and making sense of information using thought processes Experiencing the world through their senses Because of their unique characteristics, all children with ASD will have some difficulties with these skills.
8 How do we teach students with ASD? The skills of communication, thinking, and social interaction will need to be taught, supported and structured for the student to access the curriculum There are clear links between the key competencies of The New Zealand Curriculum and the needs of students with ASD School offers opportunities to practise these skills within an everyday natural learning environment. 9
It is common for me and other people with autism to be unable to say the words to describe what is bothering us. Communication differences Students with ASD: often develop communication or language later than their peers often have unusual ways of making themselves
understood sometimes use language in an unusual way may have difficulty in understanding others do not always understand gesture, facial expression or body language. 11 Communication strategies Individual students will need different levels of support. Some strategies teachers can use include: use fewer words slow down the rate of speaking give the student more time to process the information use clear, concise visual information in the form of written language, pictures, objects and gestures develop a communication system using pictures, signs, words
and symbols for those students who are not able to use verbal language. 12 Aims for students with ASD to Communicate. Thinking Communication is essential to share and make sense of knowledge and information. Students need access to verbal, visual and written information to access the curriculum. Relating to others
All students need some form of communication to be able to express their needs, thoughts, feelings and intentions. Understanding Students need to be able to express themselves and language, understand others. symbols, and texts Managing self When students are not able to express their needs and concerns, they can become anxious or frustrated and need to use other behaviour to get attention or to get their needs met. Participating and contributing
Students with ASD often need to be able to follow visual schedules and timetables to help them understand the structure of the day, to participate in classroom routines and prepare for changes. 13 Social interaction differences Students with ASD: may not join in with play or social opportunities will sometimes like to do things on their own may not respond to greetings, smiles or waving frequently do not know how or why to share things of interest with other people (such as toys or games) often have difficulty with the social rules that guide
conversation and social situations. 14 Socialisation strategies Opportunities for social interaction need to be set up and structured for success. Using play to teach new skills is often effective and motivating for the student Strategies include peer education, step-by-step teaching and structured supports (including scripts and visual reminders) School settings are very busy social places that can be stressful, so social teaching needs to be balanced with opportunities for breaks, and supports to ensure that the student with ASD is not over-loaded or anxious. 15
Aims for students with ASD to Socialise Thinking Students need to learn the skills of observing and showing (sharing attention). They also need to be taught concepts about social interaction that typical students understand intuitively. Relating to others Students need to learn to understand the feelings and motives of others. Understanding To have meaningful social interactions with peers and adults,
language, students need to be able to use some form of shared symbols, and texts communication. Managing self Students need to learn about what they like and how they feel, and learn to communicate these to others in an appropriate way. They also need support to identify stressors and learn some strategies to deal with stress. Participating and contributing To learn to play and engage with peers, small groups or the rest of the class, students need explicit teaching to understand social situations and support to learn which social interaction skills are useful in which contexts.
16 Thinking differences Students with ASD may: prefer routine and structure, and like to do things in a particular way or order dislike change or moving from one place or activity to another find it difficult to organise themselves or their possessions or to tackle and solve problems develop strong interests in particular subjects have unusual mannerisms (such as flapping) or movement patterns. 17
Thinking strategies While change and transitions can be difficult, most school days follow a routine and simple strategies (such as a visual timetable) can help. Support to understand what is going to happen next and to get the correct materials will enable the student to start the activity and access the learning objectives. Using the students interests usually motivates them to stay on task and make good progress. Once the student has mastered a skill in one setting, they need to practise that skill in a different setting (e.g., home and school). Teach skills and structures to problem-solve (such as flowcharts, mind-maps, decision trees and other cognitive frameworks). 18 Aims for students with ASD to
Think Thinking Structures to help students to think and learn include checklists, assessment criteria, using mind-maps, story maps and flowcharts to structure writing and other learning tasks. Relating to others A range of strategies to help understand the perspective and intentions of others. Understanding Use a range of communication forms for learning (visual, verbal language, and written). Explicit teaching of multiple meanings and literal
symbols, and texts language is also important. Managing self Supports may include structures (such as visuals and checklists) to plan for the day, organise equipment, complete tasks and manage time. Participating and contributing To apply new knowledge and skills gained in one setting to another setting. Strategies may include providing clear links and cues, and coaching peers to provide support. 19 Sensory differences
Students with ASD can sense things differently and may: react to loud noises or particular smells under- or over-react to pain have difficulties with their personal space react to different textures (shiny, smooth, rough) have unusual motor movements (such as walking on tiptoe) react to visual stimuli (busy environments, bright lights). Small adjustments to the students environment can have a significant impact on their well-being and ability to learn. 20 When I was little, loud noises were also a problem, often feeling
like a dentists drill hitting a nerve. They actually caused pain. I was scared to death of balloons popping, because the sound was like an explosion. Minor noises that most people can tune out drive me to distraction. Where to start The student needs to be comfortable in the classroom. They will find it difficult to engage, respond and learn when they are stressed and anxious.
Making progress will rely on an agreed process for sharing information, supports and strategies between home and school A profile of the student to introduce them to teachers, relievers and others will ensure that relevant information is shared. 22 Strategies across the curriculum Tasks, timetables, environments and expectations need to be structured and made explicit. Teaching needs to be clear and systematic breaking down tasks into small steps that the student can understand. Communication needs to be simple, clear and for many students supported by visual materials. Students need to
be given choices and be taught how to communicate their needs and wants in socially acceptable ways. Behaviour issues are usually directly linked to difficulties with communication, thinking, socialising or sensory issues. Students with ASD sometimes need strategies, times and places to have a break and calm themselves. 23 Transition All transitions beon carefully People with ASD need often to rely
routine,planned so any transition is difficult Transitions occur between activities, places, situations and people as well as between classes and schools Try and ensure that as much of the structure and systems (i.e. visuals) remain the same Often additional information, time and support are needed Quality information about their strengths, interests and effective supports needs to go with them to any new situation 24 I am proud of who
I am and autism is part of who I am. In fact, you cant separate the autism from what I do, think or am. Further information New Zealand Guidelines Group www.nzgg.org.nz/asd ASD in Education (TKI) http://seonline.tki.org.nz/asd
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