Activities for Autistic Children
Autistic Disorder is a pervasive developmental disorder. The diagnostic criteria for Autistic Disorder as specified in the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV American Psychiatric Association, 1994) include the following The diagnostic criteria for Autistic Disorder also specify that there must be the delay or abnormal functioning before age three in either social interaction, language used in social communication, or symbolic or imaginative play. There are other disorders with features that are similar to Autistic Disorder that have not always been clearly distinguished in earlier research, for example, Asperger's Disorder or Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS). It is important to be aware of these related conditions when evaluating the research on autism, as there is variability in the literature in terms of how well researchers have screened out other autism-related, yet different disorders from their...
Ethylmercury has received public attention because of claims that its presence in thimerosal, a preservative once used in childhood vaccines, contributed to a rise in autism 84, 114 . Experimentation on the relationship between mercury and autism is lacking, so the data pertaining to this issue are largely correlational. A relationship between vaccination and autism has been hypothesized based on the coincidence between increased vaccination and rises in the rate of autism 12, 62, 69 . However, the absence to date of a plausible common mechanism the limited bioavailability of ethylmercury, and the absence of a link in large epidemiological studies all suggest that the causes of autism lie elsewhere 3, 79, 114 .
This is the second of two chapters on V-P IQ discrepancies. Chapter 8 explored Verbal-Performance IQ discrepancies as related to brain damage. The patterns obtained by patients with left versus right lesions provided some insight into the greater sensitivity of the V-P IQ difference for patients with right damage (V P of 9 points) compared to those with left damage (P V of only 3K points), and examined the relationship between patient variables and V-P discrepancy in adults with brain damage. This chapter focuses on Verbal-Performance discrepancies in various types of clinical profiles, such as learning disabilities, delinquency, bilingualism, autism, mental retardation, psychiatric disorders, alcoholism, multiple sclerosis, and dementia. The chapter will conclude with the presentation of clinical case reports that exemplify V-P discrepancies within a profile.
The following are some examples of how children with autism can learn the rules of social interaction through play, when those rules are expressed in terms of a game. Children with autism tend to be poor at this mental housekeeping. They receive impressions unsorted and hence they are often overwhelmed by stimuli from their surroundings. The consequence can be that the children switch off or feel unwell and have difficulty maintaining concentration. Hence children with autism are dependent on us to sort impressions and stimuli for them. Structured teaching, based on visualizing everyday activities, demonstrates that, when this sorting succeeds, the children relax, focus on the task at hand and hence are better able to achieve their potential. But how do you sort stimuli in the social arena In social relations, which are so demanding for a child with autism to participate in, children need to learn how to take time out without physically leaving.
A problem shared by most children with autism, whatever their level of function, is having trouble organizing materials. If the organizing is not done in advance, important visual information can be messed up, materials can be mixed, and hence the game fails. Besides, clear organization adds a certain joy to the game, which we may not share or quite understand, but which is very significant for children with autism - that things match and order exists.
Two sample psychological case reports follow Chester P., an African American adolescent male suspected of autism, and Robert N., a 36-year-old Caucasian man with mild mental retardation. Chester displays the anticipated P V profile sometimes characteristic of individuals with autism or related language disorders, and Robert displays a V P profile. (As stated in Chapter 8, the clients' names and other identifying information have been altered to preserve anonymity.) Both reports illustrate the integration of scores on intelligence tests and adaptive behavior measures as part of the assessment process. Early developmental history, as reported by Mr. P., is sketchy and thus cannot support or rule out a possible diagnosis of primary autism. Chester was adopted when he was less than 6 months old through the Department of Children and Family Services. Nothing unusual was recalled in his birth or perinatal history. Problems were first noted when he was 2 years old, or perhaps 4 years old, as...
As children with autism have trouble taking the initiative to play with other children, it is essential that they know who takes part in the game. This information can be on their daily timetable. It is also important to clarify visually the order ofthe participants to make the game work as intended.
Again, many clues are found from behavioral observation and evaluation of the type of responses given. Usually, Similarities provides the best clue to the nature of the deficiency. Whereas Comprehension often involves explaining, and Vocabulary frequently demands elaboration, most Similarities items can be answered at a 2-point level by a single, well-chosen word or two ( Vehicles, Senses, Have life ). An extremely low score on Similarities compared to the other two conceptual tasks and or a set of virtually all 1-point responses to Similarities items implicates poor conceptualization rather than expression as the primary cause of the failure. Analogously, extremely high Similarities for a person who does generally well on the other two tasks implies strong concept formation rather than verbal expressive abilities. The simple pattern of scores is not enough, though corroboration is necessary from clinical observation of behaviors and background information. For example, autistic...
The research reviews with adolescents and adults are no more compelling for several other variables long believed to be associated with high Performance IQ. Individuals with learning disabilities are defined more by their high and low areas of functioning when Wechsler subtests are regrouped by Bannatyne's system or by acronyms (e.g., ACID) than by V-P IQ discrepancy. Individuals with mental retardation do not show consistent P V profiles, and neither do those with Autistic Disorder (especially if they are high functioning). Although Wechsler's children's scales, including the WISC-III, frequently yield substantial P V patterns for Hispanic individuals, data from the WAIS-III reveal only small P V IQ discrepancies, especially when Hispanics and other ethnic groups are matched on age, gender, and education indeed, when these other
As mentioned earlier, some persons with ADD syndrome also suffer from severe learning disorders such as reading disorder, math disorder, or disorder of written expression. During the school years, they are likely to need special education services in addition to treatment for ADD impairments. Others with ADD syndrome are actively caught up in abuse or dependence on alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs for them, effective treatment of their substance abuse will be required before their ADD impairments can adequately be alleviated. Still others with ADD syndrome may have chronic and severe problems with panic attacks or OCD. And severe social impairments on the Asperger's autistic spectrum or severe problems with mood regulation, depression, or bipolar disorder can also complicate the patient's struggles with ADD syndrome. Detailed information about treatment options for ADHD in combination with these various comorbid disorders is the primary focus of my edited textbook Attention Deficit...
Chapter 2 describes how individuals with ADD syndrome often are impaired in their ability to manage frustration and modulate emotions, as well as in their ability to monitor and self-regulate actions. These and other facets of ADD syndrome often cause children, adolescents, and adults to have difficulty in their social relationships. But among those individuals with ADD syndrome are some whose impairments in social interactions are much more severe. Some of those meet diagnostic criteria for As-perger's disorder, which is considered by some experts to be a variant of autism. Fred Volkmar and Ami Klin (2000) have described differences between autism and Asperger's syndrome (AS) this way In contrast with individuals with autism, individuals with AS experience social isolation, but are not withdrawn or devoid of social interest in fact, they often approach others, but in eccentric ways. Their interest in having friends, girlfriends boyfriends, and social contact may in fact be quite...
Relatively high scores on visual-spatial-simultaneous compared to visual-sequential tasks characterize autistic individuals. Lincoln et al.'s (1988) 33 nonretarded autistic children, adolescents, and adults (age range 8 2 to 29, mean age 1712 years), tested on the WISC-R or WAIS-R, had a mean scaled score of close to 9 on the spatial triad versus a mean of about 6 on Picture Arrangement and Digit Symbol-Coding. The differential was similar in Rutter's (1978) autistic sample (means of about 653 and 3 3, respectively). In Rutter's sample, the deficiency on visual-sequential tasks was comparable to the group's deficit in verbal expression, although the nonre-tarded autistic group studied by Lincoln et al. showed its most striking weakness in expressive skills.
The executive functions impaired in ADD syndrome are not simply skills that need to be learned. Trying to improve the lives of persons with ADD syndrome simply by attempting to teach them executive skills and then motivating them to utilize this pedagogy is somewhat like installing improved software on a computer that lacks sufficient memory to run that software. It is comparable to providing didactic instruction in social skills to individuals with the mindblindness of autism and then expecting them to interact empathically with others. Such efforts at intervention for ADD syndrome may be well-intentioned, but they offer fundamentally unrealistic hope.
(b) significant problems with adaptive functioning, defined as serious problems in carrying out duties expected for the person's age (e.g., self-care, interpersonal skills, work) and (c) an onset of these symptoms before the age of 18. Mental Retardation is placed on Axis II because of its pervasive and persistent effects on a person's function. It is worth noting that in the previous version of the DSM (DSM-III-R), other developmental disorders such as Autism and learning disorders were also listed on Axis II these disorders, however, are listed on Axis I in DSM-IV.
Autism, Play and Social Interaction Autism and Play Using Play to Enhance Emotional and Behavioural Development for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders Playing, Laughing and Learning with Children on the Autism Spectrum A Practical Resource of Play Ideas for Parents and Children Strategies in the Home and Community for Children with Autism Spectrum and Other Disorders 30 Years of Building Responsive Relationships with Late Talking Children including Autism, Asperger's Syndrome (ASD), Down Syndrome, and Typical Development Autism, Play and Social Interaction Autisme, leg, og social udvikling. English Autism, play, and social interaction Lone Gammeltoft and Marianne Sollok Nordenhof translated by Erik van Acker. p. cm. 1. Autism in children. 2. Social interaction. 3. Social skills. 4. Play. I. Nordenhof, Marianne Sollok, 1958- . II. Title. DNLM 1. Autistic Disorder. 2. Child. 3. Interpersonal Relations. 4. Play and Playthings. WM 203.5 G193a 2006a RJ506.A9A9844 2006 618.92'85882 dc22
By visualization we mean the use of objects or images as visual cues to explain a situation. Children with autism have difficulty transforming their impulses into appropriate action. They have difficulty creating method and order in what they do ('executive function') and their actions often seem to be random and out of context. They also have difficulty grasping the meaning of a situation ('central coherence'). For these reasons the children benefit considerably from structured education in which schedules, records, instructions and the like become visual, specific templates for the planning by which the rest of us navigate internally. Visualization is a support tool for a person with autism, like a white stick for the blind. Children with autism are often good at using their visual sense. By using visualization the children are able to function unaided in a range of contexts in which they would normally depend on the support of grown-ups. The advantages of using visualization in...
Until recently, the world supply of biologic porcine secretin had been depleted because of the unproven use of this agent to decrease the symptoms of autism. Synthetic porcine secretin and synthetic human secretin have been evaluated against the biologic porcine secretin and both synthetic preparations are equal to the biologic preparation when evaluated against each other in normal subjects and patients with proven chronic pancreatitis (Somogyi et al, 2003).
Children with autism have great difficulty keeping their attention on a shared activity with others. They are often distracted by internal and external stimuli, or they become sidetracked by what we consider irrelevant details. They often have their own agenda and ideas of what the interaction should be about, but they never manage to communicate these ideas and intentions to each other. All of this makes it difficult for them to take part in a community.
To many children it is difficult to lose - sometimes to the point of inconsolability. This also applies to children with autism. This may have to do with the fact that when you win you obtain something tangible - a trick in a game of cards or a prize. When you lose you get nothing.
Description Children's rhymes are a way in which children can play with the language in a rhythmical way, which most ordinary children love, especially because there is often a social element in saying these rhymes together. To many children with autism rhymes do not appeal in the same way. In order to get the children to see the point of saying these rhymes and at the same time make it a coherent social interaction, you can use a box with small edible treats. Purpose This is a game that focuses on taking turns and starting stopping. The passing on of the box visualizes the rhyme by basing it on action in a tangible and motivating way. Some children with autism are good at repeating and remembering linguistic expressions thus they are given an insight into social experience by saying the rhyme together with other children. At least one of the children must know the rhyme.
Description Sound-lotto is a game that consists of an audio tape or CD with different sounds from daily life, illustrated by corresponding pictures. The principle is easy and is about matching sound and picture. The game is based on the sense of hearing. According to our experience it motivates the children to listen with great attention, which otherwise is very difficult for children with autism, as it can be hard to connect sounds to something concrete from daily life.
Difficult for children with autism) in a simple miming game. The children are encouraged to keep their attention on the person doing the mime. In addition the children learn that they can put into action visual information from a card, without first showing the card to the others.
Description When children with autism learn to play together they need some literal 'social tools' to help them handle being together. Description Many children with autism find it difficult to initiate moves to play with other children. And if they have tried it is often linked to negative experiences. However, if the children have a formalized tool to ask each other 'Shall we play ' and at the same time very precisely indicate what they should play, the children themselves have a basis for approaching each other without being misunderstood.
Purpose Through playing, the children can achieve an understanding of hiding something from others, which can be a difficult concept for children with autism. Hiding something means understanding that you know something that others do not know and which you are not supposed to reveal. This can be difficult when you mainly understand the world from your own perspective, but it can normally be learned as a rule of the game.
An important condition for playing with other children is that you agree on what you are going to do together. For children without special needs it is easy to come up with a game that can be played by mutual agreement, because they can normally find something in common. Children with autism do not have extensive experience of
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Funny Wiring Autism
Autism is a developmental disorder that manifests itself in early childhood and affects the functioning of the brain, primarily in the areas of social interaction and communication. Children with autism look like other children but do not play or behave like other children. They must struggle daily to cope and connect with the world around them.