AUTISM


Definition

Autism is a developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal communication and social interaction, generally evident before age three that adversely affects a student's educational performance. The term does not apply if a student's educational performance is affected primarily because the student has a behavior disorder.

Eligibility

Documentation that the student meets a total of six (or more) from items (1), (2), and (3), with at least two from (1), and one each from (2) and (3).

  1. Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following:  

· marked impairment in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to-eye gaze, facial Expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social integration;

· failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level;

· a lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people;

· lack of social or emotional reciprocity

  1. Qualitative impairments in communication as manifested by at least one of the following:

· delay in, or total lack of, the development of spoken language;

· in individuals with adequate speech, marked impairment in the ability to initiate or sustain a conversation with others;

· Stereotyped and repetitive use of language or idiosyncratic language;

· lack of varied, spontaneous make-believe play or social imitative play appropriate to developmental level

  1. Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities, as manifested by at least one of the following:
    • Encompassing preoccupation with one or more stereotyped and restricted patterns of interest that is abnormal either in intensity or focus;
    • Apparently inflexible adherence to specific, nonfunctional routines or rituals;
    • Stereotyped and repetitive motor mannerisms;
    • persistent preoccupation with parts of objects

Characteristics

  • Engagement in repetitive activities
  • Resistant to environmental change or change in daily routines
  • Unusual responses to sensory experiences
  • Difficulty in understanding and expressing emotions
  • Excessive attachments to objects
  • Difficulty staying on task, generalizing and following directions outside their area of interest
  • Absence, disorder or delay of language, speech or meaningful communication
  • Provide your child with books, puzzles, and toys that allow the child to think and invent
  • Visit libraries, museums, zoos, plays, movies, etc. and discuss with the child what has been experienced
  • Help the child answer questions for himself
  • Support a time and place for homework, but allow the child to develop his own work and study habits
  • Review basic skills (i.e. multiplication facts)
  • Present materials visually
  • Instruct at concrete level clear, concise verbal directions
  • Be consistent
  • Incorporate communication / language instruction in all areas of learning
  • Keep instruction routine and predictable
  • Use pictures/words to reflect daily routines or instruction
  • Incorporate with general education students' social modeling

Strategies for Home

  • Follow daily routine-regular meal times, bedtimes, etc.
  • Give child a private place to be alone when it is necessary
  • Be firm and clarify expected behavior
  • Allow the student to be as independent as possible
  • Constantly reinforce appropriate behavior
  • Encourage appropriate language and use communication system if needed