The Wheels on the Bus ... ….go round and round all through the town. Training Presentation Glenda Pate and Lucy Wieland Old National Trail Special Education Cooperative 522 Anderson St., Box 267, Greencastle, IN 46135 765-653-2781 Characteristic s of Autism Autism Spectrum Disorders are lifelong developmental disorders characterized by impairments in communication, learning, and social interaction which typically become evident in infancy or early childhood. Children with autism tend to display difficulties with: Communication Skills Social Skills Behavior COMMUNICATION May have difficulties: * Understanding what they hear * Comprehending simple language * Using appropriate language Grammar/pronoun confusion Using “made up expressions” Idiosyncratic language Verbal rituals * Modulating voice- loudness/softness Communication, (cont.) May have difficulties with: * Direct gaze * Reciprocal gaze * Abstract, vague concepts * Teasing * Tend to be very literal 40-45% of students with autism are nonverbal SOCIAL May have difficulties: • Understanding social gestures • Making/maintaining eye contact • Showing and directing • Social smile (reciprocal) • Ability to judge social situations • Making friends • Reading nonverbal cues BEHAVIOR May display: • Unusual preoccupations • Repetitive use of objects • Compulsions/rituals –Hand/finger mannerisms –Body movements • Unusual sensory interests/input • Self-stimulatory behavior • Self-injurious behavior • Special skills Miscellaneous Characteristics • 1/4 to 1/3 have epilepsy • 4 out of 5 will be boys • Girls usually have more severe characteristics • Same incident rate in all countries, races, socio-economic status • May have poor motor skills Characteristics of Asperger’s Syndrome Students with Asperger’s are higher functioning and look “normal”. Behavior is often thought of as “oppositional”, “defiant”, “spoiled”, and “manipulative”. Common difficulties include: • Perseveration on specific topics of interest • Insistence on sameness/difficulty with changes in routine • Inability to make friends • Difficulty with reciprocal conversations • Pedantic speech • Socially naïve and literal thinkers • Poor coping strategies • Restricted range of interest Difficulties, (cont.) • • • • • Tend to be reclusive Difficulty being in large groups Difficulties with abstract concepts Problem-solving abilities tend to be poor Vocabulary will sound great; but overall comprehension is poor • Low frustration tolerance • Emotional vulnerability Students with autism will perform better when provided structured settings within their environment. On the bus, students can be provided: Physical Structure Visual Schedules Helpful Hints for the Bus: 1. Provide structure by assigning seats so the student will know where he will sit. 2. Forewarn the student of changes substitute bus driver, change in route, etc. 3. Provide visual cues. List bus rules. 4. Limit auditory input. Don’t attempt to reason with the student. 5. Provide with social stories explaining appropriate behavior. SOCIAL STORIES are a way to help with students with autism. They provide the student with rules explaining/defining social interactions and social settings. Social stories are written for a specific student and a specific situation. Situations that are difficult for the student. Situations where the student “misreads” the situation or the interaction. A Social Skill assessment shows an individual, specific need.