Autism � The Need for Networking and Global Understanding by IoD26Xu

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									Autism – The Need for
Networking and Global
   Understanding
     Glasgow, 06.06.07

         Luke Beardon
   Senior Lecturer in Autism
     The Autism Centre
  Sheffield Hallam University
       Should this ever happen?
•   Late diagnosis
•   Poor self esteem/understanding of self
•   No autism input
•   Sectioned
•   Psychiatric secure unit
•   Under arrest
•   Unfit to plead
•   Secure hospital

                  Luke Beardon, The Autism Centre
              Networking
• Sharing of ideas, ideals, and
  understanding
• Communicating effectively and
  strategically
• Input of specialism as and when needed
• Working collectively towards a common
  goal – to better support individuals with
  autism
               Luke Beardon, The Autism Centre
                 Whose responsibility?
• Lack of autism specificity in much service provision
• Autism specific or autism friendly?
• Autism friendly services could be defined as those within
  generic environments but with an element of autism-
  specificity within service delivery, as opposed to autism-
  specific services where both the environment and the
  service has been adapted to the specific needs of the
  individual with autism
• Who is responsible for ensuring the individual with
  autism is fully (and preventatively) supported?
   –   Parents?
   –   Education?
   –   Social Work?
   –   Health?
   –   The real triad!   Luke Beardon, The Autism Centre
       The Nature of Autism

• Areas of neuro-developmental difference
• Qualitatively different cognitive processes
• Spectrum 'condition' of neurodiversity
• If autism is not understood then bad
  practice will prevail
• Therefore – all provision requires autism
  specificity in delivery
               Luke Beardon, The Autism Centre
            Services Include…
•   Diagnosis
•   Post diagnostic support
•   Counselling
•   Employment
•   Higher education
•   Residential, day, and respite
•   Penal system and criminal justice
•   Self directed support
•   Benefits agencies
•   Public and health sector
                  Luke Beardon, The Autism Centre
 Autism and Ethical Considerations
• Autism does not necessarily mean disability – I
  think that the many people with autism are highly
  intelligent, even those with a 'label' of learning
  disability
• The vast majority of problems encountered by
  people with autism are because of everybody
  else!
• People with autism can help us to understand –
  if we only let them
                 Luke Beardon, The Autism Centre
                       So.........
• People with ASDs will all be unique and
  individual
• May share similar behaviours – BUT we must
  not assume that causality of behaviour is the
  same for each individual
• Will always have autism – BUT the way in which
  the individual copes with daily life will change,
  dependent on, for example:
  –   setting
  –   environment
  –   support
  –   time
                    Luke Beardon, The Autism Centre
YOU CAN NOT CHANGE
 SOMEONE'S AUTISM,
BUT YOU CAN CHANGE
 THE WAY IN WHICH
  THE INDIVIDUAL IS
ABLE TO COPE WITH IT
      Luke Beardon, The Autism Centre
                  NT Impairment
• Communication
   – Don’t say what they mean, ambiguous, lies, trivialities, poor
     comprehension of autism communications
• Social interaction
   – Over reliance on others, need for dependency, major time
     wasting on social irrelevancies, overbearing need for social
     status, lack of ability to enjoy independent time
• Theory of mind
   – Lies, lack of directness – ‘does my bum look big in this?’
• Executive functioning
   – Lack of precision, disorganised, lack of ability to understand the
     consequences of behaviour on the autism population
• Sensory processing
   – Poor NTs, who knows what you are missing out on…
                       Luke Beardon, The Autism Centre
                       So…

• Responsibility should lie just as much – if
  not more so - with the NT population to
  adapt and change as it currently does with
  people with autism




               Luke Beardon, The Autism Centre
Autism and Crime – personal research

• Some people with autism break the law
• Some individuals could be regarded as
  criminals
• But should all individuals with ASDs be
  considered as criminals
• Can autism specific understanding and
  sharing of information help?
              Luke Beardon, The Autism Centre
        Example Case Study 1
•   Crime: selling drugs
•   Verdict: guilty
•   Diagnosis: Asperger Syndrome
•   Adult, male, aged 22
•   Outcome: AS not taken into consideration,
    branded as a criminal

                Luke Beardon, The Autism Centre
                 The Real Story
• Desperate to make friends
• Understands that to do so it is a good idea to
  agree to things
• Agrees to sell drugs in return for friendship of
  local gangs
• Autism specific elements:
   –   Theory of Mind
   –   literal interpretation
   –   poor social understanding
   –   Dysexecutive functioning
   –   Weak central coherence

                    Luke Beardon, The Autism Centre
        Example Case Study 2

•   Crime: 'Sexual' offender
•   Verdict: guilty
•   Diagnosis: autism
•   Adult male
•   Outcome: almost branded as paedophile


                Luke Beardon, The Autism Centre
                 The Real Story
•   Complex autism condition
•   Obsessive desire to understand gender disparity
•   Lack of prior education
•   Logical solution to problem
•   Autism specific elements:
    –   Lack of Theory of Mind
    –   Rigidity of thought process
    –   No social awareness
    –   No understanding of consequences
• Following input from an autism project individual
  receives appropriate support
                    Luke Beardon, The Autism Centre
        Example Case Study 3

•   Crime: sexual deviancy
•   Behaviour
•   Prosopagnosia
•   Outcome – very embarrassed psychology
    department


               Luke Beardon, The Autism Centre
              Going Too Far
• Not recognising the very real problems that
  autism/AS present for the individual can mean a
  lack of appropriate support
• A lack of learning disability is not synonymous
  with a lack of need for support
• Support should be positive for the individual, not
  necessarily in line with neurotypical value
  systems
• 'Normalisation' is unethical and discriminatory
• Rights for the individual mean recognition of
  need and the right to appropriate support

                 Luke Beardon, The Autism Centre
    Ethics, Morality, and
       Normalisation

It is essential that individuals
 with autism are treated with
    respect for their way of
 thinking and behaving, and
that ‘normal’ value bases are
    not enforced upon them

       Luke Beardon, The Autism Centre
          The Way Forward
• Better understanding
• Better practice in diagnostic clinicians
• Doing away with global policies that are
  generic and of little relevance or
  adaptation to take autism into account
• Paradigm shift in societal values and
  expectations
• Changes in NT behaviour
               Luke Beardon, The Autism Centre
               Contact
Luke Beardon, Senior Lecturer in Autism
          The Autism Centre
  Faculty of Development and Society
      Sheffield Hallam University
          Collegiate Crescent
                  Sheffield
                   S10 2BP
             0114 – 2255645
         L.Beardon@shu.ac.uk
          Luke Beardon, The Autism Centre

								
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