Introductory awareness of Autistic Spectrum Disorders

7 July 2016

Introductory awareness of Autistic Spectrum Disorders Task A- 1. Body language – People with ASD’s often have difficulties understanding and using body language. This may make them seem rude, but they also avoid eye contact as it makes them feel uncomfortable. Process delay – It is a common difficulty for people with ASD’s to have a delay in processing spoken/written communication and replying. Sporadic Language – Individuals may also have learnt certain words or phrases of interest that they use which may make them appear to have a good level of understanding of vocabulary when it is not the case. 2.

Autistic people often do not understand the unwritten social rules which most of us pick up without thinking They may also appear to be insensitive because they have not recognised how someone else is feeling. They can also appear to behave ‘strangely’ or inappropriately, as it is not always easy for them to express feelings, emotions or needs. 4. The autism/autistic spectrum describes a range of conditions classified as neurodevelopmental disorders. These disorders are characterised by social deficits and communication difficulties, stereotyped or repetitive behaviours and interests, and in some cases, cognitive delays.

These disorders include Autism, Asperger’s syndrome and Rett Syndrome. 5. It is important to recognise that each individual on the autistic spectrum has their own strengths, preferences and needs as each person who has one of the related disorders is different. Despite similarities between the disorders and how it can affect the individuals who have them. If you generalise then the care provided may not be person specific and therefore not the best possible care that can be given. 6. ADHD – Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is a condition that makes a person inattentive, impulsive and hyperactive.

Epilepsy – Epilepsy is a condition in which the affected person has seizures or periods of loss of consciousness. Dyslexia – Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty which mainly affects the development of literacy and language related skills. 7. Sense Difficulties Sight Lack of eye contact – Can make them feel uncomfortable/anxious. Staring – Can fixate on certain objects/details. Peripheral/central vision – central vision can often be blurred but peripheral vision sharp. Hearing Selective hearing – May not acknowledge particular sounds.

Sensitive hearing – Noise can be magnified and sounds become distorted and muddled. Partial Hearing – May only hear sounds in one ear, the other ear having only partial hearing or none at all. Touch High Pain Threshold – Can mean they do not feel pain and can have no sense of danger and self-harm. Textures – Only likes certain clothing or textures. Holds others tightly – needs to do so before there is a sensation of having applied any pressure. Smell Poor sense of smell – Some people have no sense of smell and fail to notice extreme odours Intensive smells – Dislikes people with distinctive perfumes, shampoos, etc.

Taste Eats everything – soil, grass, Play-dough. This is known as Pica Textures – Certain textures cause discomfort; some children will only eat smooth foods like mashed potatoes or ice-cream. Sensitive taste buds – some flavourings/food overpowering. 8. Covers ears – May be due to sensitivity to noises. Puts objects to nose to smell them – Likes the feeling of it against nose or likes to smell objects when presented with them. Hits or bites others – Way of communicating unhappiness, discomfort or fear. 9.

Covering ears – this can impact on an individual as they may not be able to participate in communication with others effectively. Hit or bites other – this can impact on an individual as it is not a socially acceptable way of communicating and means there needs may not be met. 10. I would attempt to engage the individual and distract them by offering them an activity/object they like in order to motivate them. You could also use calming techniques such as deep breathing and relaxing music. Another way would be to give them time and space to calm and reflect. 11.

Due to the nature of ASC and the related impairments it is important to use a person centred approach. As individuals who are on the spectrum commonly have communication issues it is a way for their needs, preferences and strengths to be listened to indirectly. It is also important as it gives them a chance to experience new things that they would not do without the support of staff. This can then raise confidence, develop new skills and a sense of value and control. 12. Formal Support Networks Informal Support Networks Schools Family Medical Care Facilities Support Groups

Social Workers Friends 13. I would make sure that the support provided was consistent by having meetings with all those involved and making sure that everyone adhered to what was in the care plans and that we feedback and advised each other on these findings. Also we would need to communicate with each other regarding any changes that may be relevant. 14. In order to help an individual with ASD learn a new skill I would look at what skills were already existing, their care plan in order to create an activity/environment that best suits them in able to learn.

I would then set targets and reward them when they are met in order to motivate. 15. It is important that people who work with individuals with ASD are aware of how they are communicating with them both verbally and non-verbally as people with ASD may not understand or misinterpret what is being said to them. 16. Location – The location may not be suitable if it is bright, loud or they are not comfortable or familiar there and may cause them to not be able to concentrate on the communication at hand.

Noise – If there are noises in the environment which could be loud or quiet due to the sensitivity of individuals with ASD hearing it could distract them during communication with others. People – If there are lots of people present and they are talking or using non-verbal communication this may cause mixed messages or non-delivery of messages. 17. Make sure there is as little background noise as possible by providing a quiet environment the individual can cope with. You could also break down language both orally and written so that it is easier for individuals with ASD to interpret and process.

Another method is to ask if it has been understood and give time for messages to be processed. 18. You could use either written language as part of a visual system or pictorial cue cards to inform people with ASD of what they need to do. This could be a schedule or a behavioural visual if something was inappropriate and should be designed specifically to meet the individual’s needs. 19. You could ask a speech and language therapist for advice in order to communicate with someone with ASD effectively and also you could seek information from parents, family members and people who have worked with the individuals before.

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