Certificate in preparing to work in adult social care. Unit 26 understand how to support individuals with autistic spectrum conditions. Outcome 1 understand the main characteristics of autistic spectrum conditions 1. 1 explain why it is important that each person on the autistic spectrum has their own individual abilities ,needs, strengths, gifts and interests Each person with an ASD has individual gifts, strengths and difficulties, like anyone else. However, a person will be diagnosed as having an ASD if, to a greater or lesser extent, they show some of a range of typical characteristics.
The three areas in which people with an ASD often experience difficulties are in social communication, social interaction and social imagination commonly known as the ‘triad of impairments Social communication The person may interpret language in a literal way, may have difficulty interpreting idiomatic terms such as ‘She must have eyes in the back of her head’, and may not know when someone is joking or being sarcastic. They may have formal or stilted language, or a monotonous tone of voice. A person with ASD may not pick up on non-verbal communication such as gestures, facial expressions or tone of voice, or they may misinterpret them.
They may also not recognise other people’s emotions, motivations or expectations. In particular, they may be unaware of the unspoken rules of behaviour such as instinctively knowing that it might be considered rude to mention certain things. They may also find it difficult to maintain eye contact. Social interaction The person may find it difficult to form or sustain friendships. They may struggle with certain social situations and with making conversation. They may not notice if the person they are talking to is not interested in what they are saying. Social imagination
The person may feel more comfortable with facts than imagining hypothetical (what if? ) situations, or thinking in abstract or conceptual ways. They may find it difficult to put themselves in other people’s shoes and understand other people’s perceptions or points of view. Their strengths may lie in following procedures or routines rather than dealing with situations spontaneously. They may have a narrow range of interests. Other factors The person may also be sensitive to noise, smell, taste or touch. They may become anxious if a routine or process is broken.
They may have special interests such as a hobby that they are obsessively interested in. The list above gives an overview of the various difficulties that people with ASDs experience. However, it is important to remember that each individual with an ASD will have a unique mix of factors, and not all of the above will be present. These factors will be combined with all the usual characteristics that contribute to someone’s personality. Each individual is different. So it is important to be aware of what the condition means for them, and to treat them on their own merit.
Analyse the main diagnostic features of autistic spectrum conditions, commonly known as the ‘triad of impairments Triad of Impairments This is the term that describes the difficulties that people with autism experience in differing degrees. Because all people are different, the way autism affects them is also different. The term was first used by Lorna Wing Impaired Social Interaction – Getting on with other people Symptoms in this area include: Ritualistic, compulsive and obsessional type behaviours. Self-stimulating and repetitive behaviours.
Compulsive ritualistic use of language Lack of concept of self and others as beings with feelings and individual thoughts. Difficulties range from indifference and aloofness to wanting desperately to make friends but not understanding social rules and other people’s behaviour and feelings well enough to do so successfully. Some people with autism find social situations very challenging and may avoid interaction altogether. A child with autism may not be able to respond to his or her own name and can avoid looking at other people.
Interpreting tone of voice or facial expressions could be problematic for an autistic person as can responding to others’ emotions appropriately. Autism causes children and adults appear oblivious to the negative impact that their behaviour has on others. Problems with Verbal and Nonverbal Communication Talking and understanding Speech may be present but not used for spontaneous communication Maybe seen as un-cooperative or unresponsive Tantrums or severe episodes of distress Development of language can be concrete and literal Inability to read facial expression, gesture, body language and posture.
Impairment of the understanding meaning – semantic and pragmatic. Language difficulties range from no speech at all to fluent speech that can be repetitive and focused on their own areas of interest, rather than true conversation. Limited Imagination and Rigid Thought Processes Thinking and Behaviour Skills learnt in isolation and not transferred or generalised Preoccupation with sameness Difficulty with change Inability to learn successfully by mistake, trial or error Poor play skills and difficulty in developing imaginative play Difficulties in manipulating objects appropriately
Seeming impairment of curiosity of the direct world Repetitive activities Inability to differentiate between fantasy and reality The deficits in imaginative and conceptual skills and difficulties in making sense of the world can lead to a rigid way of thinking and doing things, repetitive activity and narrow interests. Changes of routine cause anxiety and distress. 1. 3 explain the meanings of the terms ‘spectrum’ in relation to autism by reference to the notions of sub-conditions and individual variation within the autistic spectrum.
The term ‘spectrum’ is used because the symptoms of ASD can vary from individual to individual, and from mild to severe. In very broad terms, there are three main types of ASD: Autistic disorder, sometimes known as ‘classic autism’. Asperger syndrome. Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS), which is also known as ‘atypical autism’. Autistic disorder individuals with autistic disorder usually have significant problems with language, social interaction and behaviour. Many individuals with autistic disorder will also have learning difficulties and below-average intelligence.
Asperger syndrome Individuals with Asperger syndrome have milder symptoms that affect social interaction and behaviour. Their language development is usually unaffected, although they often have problems in certain areas of language. For example, understanding humour or figures of speech, such as ‘she’s got a chip on her shoulder’ or ‘it’s raining cats and dogs’. individuals with Asperger syndrome usually have above-average intelligence. Some individuals are skilled in fields requiring logic, memory and creativity, such as maths, computer science and music.
(But only 1 in 200 children are exceptionally skilled, so-called ‘autistic savants’). Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified PDD-NOS can be thought of as a ‘diagnosis of exclusion’. It is used for individuals who share some, but not all, of the traits of autistic disorder and/or Asperger syndrome. Most individuals with PDD-NOS have milder symptoms than individuals with autistic disorder, but they do not share the good language skills and above-average intelligence associated with Asperger syndrome. ASD are uncommon but not rare.
In England it is estimated that 1 in every 100 children has an ASD. ASD are more common in boys than girls. Boys are three to four times more likely to develop an ASD than girls. 1. 4 Describe the sensory and perceptual difficulties commonly experienced by individuals with an autistic spectrum condition. The types of sensory perceptual deficits associated with Autism and Aspergers are unique. These environmental distortions are varied, unpredictable and constantly changing. For example, parts of the environment may disappear or people may be seen in pieces.
As a result those with Autism / Aspergers may experience the following: Alienation Poor concentration Poor social skills Low self esteem System overload Poor body awareness Faulty information (1) Sensory Overload caused by bright lights, fluorescent lights, and sunlight. Lighting is stressful; and this results in behaviours to filter out the light, poor eye contact, and physical symptoms such as anxiety or headaches. (2) Environmental Distortions where the individual sees the world in a distorted fashion. Objects are blurry, moving, changing, and can disappear.
People may look frightening, stairs may look like a slide without steps, and walls and floors may swing and sway. Misperceptions can cause difficulties with sustained attention, eye contact, gross and small motor coordination, ability to interpret facial expressions, and poor social skills. (3) Print Distortions make learning or reading difficult. The individual may have good or even advanced reading skills but has trouble with reading comprehension or experiences strain and fatigue when reading or doing other activities. Tracking or building breaks into reading may be a problem. 1.
Decribe other conditions that may be associated with the autistic spectrum People with autism may have learning disabilities, which can affect all aspects of someone’s life, from studying in school, to learning how to wash themselves or make a meal. As with autism, people can have different ‘degrees’ of learning disability, so some will be able to live fairly independently – although they may need a degree of support to achieve this – while others may require lifelong, specialist support. However, all people with autism can, and do, learn and develop with the right sort of support. Other conditions are sometimes associated with autism.
These may include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or learning difficulties such as dyslexia and dyspraxia. 1. 6. describe how language and intellectual abilities vary between individuals and sun-groups across the spectrum Those people with an ASC and an IQ level of 70 or above are often considered to be on the “higher functioning” end of the autistic spectrum due to their IQ level. However, this is not necessarily the case due to many still experiencing significant difficulties with social interactions, social communication and behaviour that can make them particularly vulnerable.
A small but significant number of people with an ASC and IQ above 70 require intensive care and support, as is the case in Westminster. Most of those with an IQ level of 70 or above would have a diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome or High Functioning Autism. Further explanation of the subgroups of ASCs is given Table 1 below. Although subgroups exist, their use may not be considered helpful in some cases. For Instance, a child diagnosed with “Autistic Disorder” may develop into an adult presenting symptoms closer to Aspergers Syndrome or High Functioning Autism.
The condition appears to change over time, as do the abilities of the person with the condition. outcome 2 understand how autistic spectrum conditions can impact on the lives of individuals and those around them 2. 1 describe ways in which autism can impact on the everyday lives of individuals, their parents/carers and siblings and others close to them While many people with autism and their families will cope well with the additional challenges autism brings, the emotional impact of autism is often difficult and sometimes devastating for people with autism and the families of those affected.
In the case of people with, for example, Asperger Syndrome, levels of mental health problems and depression are high as individuals struggle to cope in everyday society. Whilst many people argue that people with autism should be regarded simply as different rather than ‘disordered’, there is no doubt of the very real distress that autism can cause. People with autism and learning disabilities may have no speech and complex special needs and may need full-time care. For the individual with autism, the world can be a confusing and lonely place, where everyone except them understands the rules of appropriate behaviour.
For the family of an autistic child life is often stressful. Parents and siblings usually have to cope with unyielding challenging behaviour and possibly sleep deprivation, as many children with autism do not sleep for long periods of time. Because children and adults with autism find it difficult to manage in social situations, many families become isolated. Added to this, is the difficult and lengthy processes to obtain from local authorities the special education to which children with autism are entitled.
Many parents with autistic children believe that they will be primary carer for life and are often very concerned about what will happen to their child when they die. The stresses to family life can lead to relationship breakdowns, divorce and, in extreme circumstances, suicide. Just under half of parents of children with autism experience mental distress. 2. 2 explain how autistic spectrum conditions can impact on individuals differently according to factors such as. gender, ethnicity and social, cultural and religious environment.
Autism as a whole affects more males than females, social, some may they have been punished by god,and some believe it is down to bad parenting. 2. 3 explain how stereotyped views, their discrimination and a lack of understanding of autistic spectrum conditions can compound the difficulties already experienced by individuals and their families Autistic people already have a large barrier, preventing them from doing a lot of every day tasks, this is not helped when they are up against stereotyping,discrimination,ect.
Society can be a cruel environment for an able bodied person but if people are still ignorant to the autistic spectrum they may still refer to autistic people as being “retarded” or “naughty “. 2. 4 describe ways of helping an individual and/or their parents/carers/siblings to understand their autistic spectrum condition By giving people information either from books, the internet, or training programs, this will increase their knowledge and understanding of the autistic spectrum. Outcome 3 understand different theories and concepts about autism 3. 1 explain theories about autism related to
Brain function and genetics: -psychology Attwood (2007) describes the psychological term Theroy of mind (ToM) as “the ability to recognise and understand thoughts, beliefs, desires and intentions of other people in order to make sense of their behaviour and predict what they are going to do next…. the child or adult with aspergers syndrome does not recognise or understand the cues that indicate the thought or feelings of the other person at a level expected for someone of that age” The affects of impaired ToM abilities on daily life (Attwood): difficulty reading the social/ emotional message in someone’s eyes.
Individuals with aspergers syndrome engage in less eye contact, so are more likely to miss important cues signalled by change . difficulty conceptualizing the other person’s perceptive and prorities limited skills in persuasion a tendancy to be confrontational and rigid a reluctance to change a decision and admit making a mistake an adversion to being interrupted/ strong dislike of any form of critism or correction a compulsion for completion a tendancy to punish rather than praise a tendancy to avoid demands a lack of knowledge of alternative strategies.
Adults with aspergers syndrome are susceptible to having various psychological difficulties. Often they are the result of the individuals difficulty coping with their aspergers syndrome and the stress, anger, frustration, confusion, anxiety and fear that they feel. Some of the most common additional difficulties include the following: anger outbursts agitation and restlessness increase in obsessional/ reptetive activities/ thoughts/ speech low mood/ depression apathy and inactivity onset of uncharacteristic, bizarre behaviour or thoughts
For sme people with aspergers syndrome, there appears to be faulty emotion regulation or control mechanism for expressing anger. When feeling angry the person does not appear to be able to pause and think of alternative strategies to resolve the situation 3. 2 explain why there are alternative choices of terminology used to describe the autism spectrum. This is because they share the same or similar autistic traits and features: i. e, aspergers. 3. 3 describe the strengths and the limitations of different types of terminology.
Strengths: limitations: support labelling + streptypes understanding blame having a name to the disability stigmatising 3. 4 explain the contributions of autism rights groups and the implications of their views for the support of individuals with an autistic spectrum condition ARM: autistic right movement. The autism rights movement (ARM) (also neurodiversity movement or anti-cure movement or autistic culture movement) is a social movement that encourages autistic people, their caregivers and society to adopt a position of neurodiversity, accepting autism as a variation in functioning rather than a mental disorder to be cured.
The ARM advocates a variety of goals including a greater acceptance of autistic behaviors; treatment that teaches autistic individuals coping skills rather than treatment focused on imitating behaviors of neurotypical peers, including extinguishing harmless stimming, forcing eye contact and breaking routines; the creation of social networks and events that allow autistic persons to socialize on their own terms; and the recognition of the autistic community as a minority group.
Autism rights or neurodiversity advocates believe that autism spectrum disorders are genetic and should be accepted as a natural expression of the human genome. This perspective is distinct from two wings of the autism cure movement: (1) the perspective that autism spectrum disorders are caused by a genetic defect and should be addressed by targeting the autism gene(s) and (2) the perspective that autism is caused by environmental factors like vaccines and pollution and could be cured by addressing environmental causes.
The movement is controversial and there are a wide variety of both supportive and critical opinions about the movement among people whose lives are affected by autism. 3. 5 outline controversies concerning the search for cures and interventions for autistic spectrum conditions and for pre-natal diagnosis See separate print-out 3.
Explain why it is important to take into account individual differences in views of what is important in life, and how this might be especially important when supporting individuals on the autistic spectrum This is where a person centred plan is important it will help with understanding the individuals hopes,dreams and aspirations. Every one is different and what may seem like a simple thing to an abled bodied person it could be a life changing event for some-one with autism.
Understand the legal and policy framework that underpins good practice in the support of individuals with autistic spectrum conditions 4. 1 identify what legislations and national and local policy and guidance exists Mental capacity act, deprivation of liberty, safeguarding, mental health act,discrimination act, equal opportunity act, Autistm Act 2009. 4. 2 explain what individuals or situations the legislation, national and local policy and guidance applies to.
The above legislations,policies and guidance applies to every individual in many different ways,they apply to a variety of things from day to day tasks right through to making life changing decisions. 4. 3 explain how the ways in which legislations and national and local policy and guidance apply to individuals on the autistic spectrum may differ according to their particular needs. Each individual has a different capacity to make choices that is why they differ according to the individuals needs and abilities. Outcome 5
Understand how to achieve effective communication with individuals with an autistic spectrum condition 5. 1 give examples of how “challenging behaviour” can be a way of expressing emotions where there are communication differences Frustration, inability to make people understand their feelings and they may not recognise their own emotions. Pain:- they may feel in pain but unable to get people to understand this. 5. 2 describe methods and systems used to develop and support an individual’s communication Makaton is a language programme using signs and symbols to help people communicate.
It is designed to support spoken language and the signs and symbols are used with speech in spoken word order. People with learning disabilities or communication difficulties may struggle to make themselves understood – and to understand others. This can provoke intense frustration, challenging behaviour and isolation, and act as a barrier to achievement. The Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) is a successful approach that uses pictures to develop communication skills.
It is appropriate for children and adults with learning and communication difficulties including autism. Easy to access, affordable to implement and scientifically supported as one of the most effective communication interventions, PECS is an opportunity to open the door to spontaneous communication. 5. 3 explain how to maximise the effectiveness of communication by making adaptions to own verbal and non-verbal communication style. Make simple, repetitive phrases,using picture cards, emotion cards,traffic light cards.
Understand how to support individuals with an autistic spectrum condition 6. 1 explain why it is important to establish a person-centred plan catering to an individuals specific preferences and need Person-centred care is a philosophy of providing care that is centred around the person, and not just their health needs. We are all individual, no two people are the same hence it is not appropriate to say that because two people have dementia – that they both have the same care and support needs.
The values which one person feels are important in their life may not be so to another. To provide the best support to a person, their values must be taken into account and by doing so you will be empowering that person, increase their self determination and improve their independence. 6. 2 explain why consultation with families/parents/carers is important in person-centred planning and support It is important to find out as much about an individual’s views, values, needs, preferences, history and wishes, as possible.
To work in a person centred way you need to build a complete picture of the whole person, in order to provide the best care package for them. To do this you will have to talk to various people involved in the person’s life including themselves, family, friends, doctors etc. This will help to build the picture and provide details such as their favourite food, hobbies, where they lived, their medical conditions, their family. 6.
Describe different techniques and approaches to support individuals with an autistic spectrum condition to learn and develop new skills I have researched a technique called forward and backward chaining. It could be that a service user wishes to make a sandwich but gets anxious because it has too many process to achieve their goal so for instance,you could make the sandwich and ask them to place it on the plate, then each time adding something extra for them to do e.
Next time ask them to cut the sandwich and place it on the plate,them place the top slice of bread on , cut and place on the plate, eventually they will be able to process the whole task from the start. 6. 4 explain how to reduce sensory overload, or increase sensory stimulation, by making adaptions to the physical and sensory environment You could turn the sound down on the tv and dim the lights if you knew the individual got over stimulated by noise and lights, this is especially done in the evenings when the individual needs to reduce sensory overload.
If an individual wanted to be stimultated then you could provide different noises, disco lights and various different textures. 6. 5 explain ways of helping an individual with an autistic spectrum condition to protect themselves from harm Risk assessments are devised to reduve risk to the individual,they could be given supervision when completing tasks and safeguarding them from exposure. 6.
Explain how needs change for individuals and their families at different stages of their lives As a child with an autistic spectrum condition their needs will change as they grow older, they become stronger ( which could mean that once they were easily manageable when showing behaviours,they could now pose a threat to the person caring for them), their support will need to change as they progress from living at home to wanting to go into supported living, their emotions will change due to their body going through adolesance, puberty.
Describe the role that advocacy can play in the support of individuals with an autistic spectrum condition. Advocacy is a way of helping people to speak up for themselves. Everybody has the same rights: To make choices about our lives To get help from Adult Social Care or Health Services if we need it To be told about our rights To have opportunities for leisure, education, training and employment whether we have a disability or not To make a complaint when something goes wrong.
An advocate can: Listen to you Help you to plan any action you may need or wish to take Write letters and make telephone calls with you, or for you Make sure your views are heard by attending meetings/reviews with you Get information for you, or put you in touch with someone who can Spend time with you preparing for meetings Find out other ways you can get support Find out what your rights are Liaise with relevant agencies