asd_communication by xiangpeng


									Autism Spectrum Disorders
   A developmental disability
   Begins prior to birth or in early infancy
   Variations or subgroups exist
   May occur with other motor, cognitive,
    and/or language disabilities
   Triad of deficits
       Social reciprocity
       Communication
       Repetitive or ritualistic behaviors
the spectrum includes

   Autism
   Childhood disintegrative disorder
   Asperger syndrome
   Atypical autism/ Pervasive
    developmental disorder-not
    otherwise specified (PDD-NOS)

     See Table 2.1 in Wetherby & Prizant, 2000
   At the core of autism is an inability to
    process and understand social and affective
    information in a cohesive, flexible manner.
   This decreased ability to process,
    understand, and integrate multiple types of
    information (language, social and
    emotional) affects one‟s ability to engage in
    social interactions that are both dynamic
    and unpredictable.
Individuals with ASD have
difficulty with
   processing social information.
   perceiving, understanding and
    integrating expressions, emotions,
    and social perspectives.
   theory of mind.
       the ability to understand the thoughts
        and feelings of others
       taking the perspective of others in
        social interaction
To understand the thinking patterns,
  social perspectives and
  socioemotional qualities
  of children with ASD, we focus on
  three aspects of cognition:
     attention,
     information processing, and
     social cognition.
    Problems with Attention
   A hyperfocus on concrete information helps
    create order.
   Use repetition and rituals to make sense of
   Hypersensitivity or atypical responses to
    sensory information
   Overselectivity difficulty attending to
    multiple features of stimuli
   Difficulty selecting the meaningful feature
    to attend to for learning
   May focus on irrelevant details or
    misinterpret meaning of information
   Difficulty shifting attention
Problems with Information
   Overselectivity leads to processing
    information one piece at a time.
   Gestalt processing-information
    recognized and stored as a whole
   Problems integrating information in
    a meaningful and flexible way
   Rely on patterns to store
   Retrieval of information is concrete.
   Visual thinking-process visuospatial
    information more easily
       Fixed in time and space
       Does not change rapidly
   Learning is driven by concrete
    physical experiences.
   Decreased understanding of
    abstract “social” concepts
    Problems with Social Cognition
   Linking emotions and behaviors
   Social referencing
       understanding the meaning of an experience by
        looking at how people react to events
   Theory of mind and social perspective
       understanding the intentions, thoughts, and
        feelings of others and comparing them to your
   Anticipating, understanding, and
    predicting the social behaviors of others
   Continually monitoring and adapting to
    partner‟s knowledge, perspective, and
The rituals or repetitive behaviors of
individuals with ASD can be a/an:

   expression of emotional state or
   regulation of sensory information.
   expression of anxiety used to create
   impairment in cognitive functioning.
   expression of poor inhibition.

Wetherby, A. & Prizant, B. (2000). Autism
 spectrum disorders: A transactional
 developmental perspective. Baltimore,
 MD: Brookes Publishing.

Quill, K.A. (2000). Do-Watch-Listen-Say.
 Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing.
Social Communication of
Individuals with ASD
Communication Development
   Reciprocal, dynamic process takes
      two people to communicate.

      initiations and responses to information.

   Requires attention to and understanding of
    rapidly changing information

   Interpretation of speaker‟s message takes
    place in context.
Social Development

   Interactions with environment and
    people provide the context for

   Interactions and information are
    constantly changing and require
    flexibility to monitor and adjust to
    actions of others.
Core Skills of Social and
Communication Development
   Nonverbal social communication
      use of eye gaze, facial expressions, and
       gestures to respond and engage in
   Imitation is a means to
      learn new things.

      relate self to the world around you.

      develop symbolic thought.
Areas of Weakness

   Joint attention

   Social-affective signaling

   Symbolic play
Joint attention

   Pivotal skill or core feature of ASD

   Deficits distinguish ASD from other
    language and cognitive disorders.

   Evident from an early age (begins
    at 9-12 months.)
Joint attention
   Orienting to social stimuli
       looking at and attending to
   Coordinating eye gaze (attention)
    between objects and people
   Displaying affect or emotion to a person
       sharing of affective state
   Reading and interpreting the expressions
    of others
   Drawing the attention of others to objects
    or events to share an experience
    Decreased coordinated attention to
    social stimuli (the objects and people
    you interact with) leads to

   difficulty learning the meaning of objects, actions, and
      When looking at the same object or event, adults
        provide the language for children to learn.
   difficulty understanding the perspective of others
    what others are thinking about the objects, actions, and
      A child must understand that the adult is attending to
        the same aspect, object, or event he/she is and be able
        to compare perspectives.
      This facilitates the development of conversation and
        social interaction.
   difficulty knowing how to draw someone’s attention to
    you, objects, or activities in order to share an
      We learn from the reactions of others how to respond in
        future interactions.
Symbol Systems
   Understanding that one thing stands for
    or represents another
   Learned in a social context while
    interacting with people and objects
   Play and language are examples of
    symbol systems.
      Words/gestures stand for/represent an
       object or action.
      In “pretend” play, an object like a
       banana can represent a phone.
Difficulties with Symbol Use
   Fewer vocalizations to express
    intentions in younger years
   Fewer conventional, symbolic gestures
    waving, pointing, showing
   Difficulty understanding and using the
    conventional meaning of words
   Less variety and complexity of pretend
       More time playing with objects in a functional
    Areas of Weakness

   Joint attention
      Less attention to objects and people
      Less coordinated attention between
       objects and people
   Social-affective signaling
      Less positive affect when interacting
       with others
      Less response to the affect of others
      Less sharing of affect while attending to
       same object or event as adult
   Symbolic play
Communicative Functions
   We communicate for three main reasons or

       Behavior regulation to obtain or restrict a goal

       Social interaction to attract attention to self

       Joint attention to direct attention to an object
        or event
Children with ASD use communication
 more often to regulate the
 behavior of others to obtain or
 restrict a goal

     Requesting an object: “I want that

     Requesting an action: “Get me a
The difficulty lies in using communication
(eye gaze, gestures, sounds, words) to draw
attention in order to share an experience.

   social interaction
       To request a routine: “Let‟s play peek a boo.”
       To request comfort: “Give me a hug.”
       To call or greet someone: “Hi, Mom.”
       To show off: “Look what I can do.”
       To request permission: “Can I crawl on the
   joint attention
       To comment: “Look, that‟s a cow.”
       To request information: “Is that a cow?”
       To provide information: “I‟m going to read a
Profile of Social Communication
and Symbolic Abilities
Areas of weakness for children with ASD
    Communicative Functions

    Gestures

    Reciprocity

    Social-affective signaling

    Symbolic behavior

                        (Wetherby & Prizant, 1993)

   Areas of weakness
       Joint attention and social-affective
          Communicating for social purposes/functions
          Eye-gaze shift

       Symbolic play
   Strengths
       Communicating for behavior regulation
       Constructive/functional play

Wetherby, A. & Prizant, B. (1993). Profiling communication
  and symbolic abilities in young children. Journal of
  Childhood Communication Disorders, 15, 23-32.

Wetherby, A. & Prizant, B. (2000). Autism spectrum
  disorders: A transactional developmental perspective.
  Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing.

Quill, K.A. (2000). Do-Watch-Listen-Say. Baltimore, MD:
  Brookes Publishing.
Communication Terminology

   Communication: the process of
    sharing thoughts, ideas, attitudes,
    feelings, and desires with others
   Language: a shared system of
    symbols and rules; a code with
    which people communicate
   Speech: the oral expression of

   We acquire language in order to
    share ideas, thoughts, and feelings.
   Through our interactions with
    people and experiences with the
    environment, we construct
    knowledge and shared meanings.
   Intentionality drives language
   Language: a shared system of symbols
    and rules; a code with which people
      Phonology: the speech sound system of
      Morphology: word formation
      Syntax: rules used in constructing and
       understanding sentences
      Semantics: rules for the meaning of
       words and their combinations
      Pragmatics: the use of language
   the study of phonemes or speech
    sounds and the rules that determine
    how they can be sequenced into
    syllables and words. For example,
    the words „seed‟ and „seat‟ are
    different only because of the final
    phoneme or sound. Phonology is
    not the same as speech. Speech is
    what we do when we talk and
   The words and their parts as units of
    meaning. A morpheme is the smallest
    meaningful unit of language. Morphemes
    can be sounds or syllables or whole
    words. For example, the word „dog‟ is a
    morpheme, as is the “s” to make the
    word „dogs.‟ You will hear speech
    language pathologists (SLPs) talk about
    mean length of utterance. This is a
    marker of language maturity and

   the rules for how to string words
    together to form phrases and
    sentences, what sentences are
    acceptable, and how to transform
    sentences into other sentences

   the study of the structure of
    phrases, clauses, and sentences

   the study of linguistic meaning. This
    includes vocabulary and meanings
    associated with words and word
    combinations. Semantics deals with
    the relationships between and
    among words, sentences, and their
   the study of how language is used to
    communicate within a situational context.
    Pragmatics involves knowing how to use
    information from the social situation to
    determine what to say and how to
    achieve personal and social goals.
    Speakers must decide the appropriate
    form of a message to use in different
    contexts, make judgments about the
    capacities and needs of listeners, and set
    rules for social exchanges or
    conversational abilities.

   Language can also be classified by
    its content, how it is used, and the
    form it takes.
       Content: semantics
       Use: pragmatics
       Form: phonology, morphology, and

Speech: the oral expression of
     Articulation the production of the
     Resonance the air flow associated with
     Phonation the voicing of sounds
     Fluency the smoothness with which
      the sounds are blended together
Communication can be
symbolic or nonsymbolic.
   Symbolic communication: when one
    form represents or stands for
    something else
       The word „chair‟ stands for this object.
   Nonsymbolic communication:
    communication that does not rely
    on symbols
       depends on how the communication
        partner interprets the message
Features of communication

   The goal of the speaker
   The effect on the listener
   The way the person communicates
   The contextual influences on the
    communicative exchange
    Communication may be
    intentional or nonintentional.
   Communicative intent: goal of the speaker
        Aware of the effects on listener
        Intentionality is inferred with nonsymbolic
           Alternating gaze between goal and listener
           Persistent signaling until goal is accomplished or
           Changing the signal quality until goal is met
           Ritualizing or conventionalizing the form within
            specific contexts
           Awaiting a response from the listener
           Terminating signal when goal is met
           Displaying satisfaction when goal is met or
            dissatisfaction when it is not
Communicative Functions
   Communicative function: effect on
       Behavioral regulation to obtain or restrict a
          Requesting
          Protesting
       Joint Attention to direct attention to an object
        or event
          Commenting
       Social Interaction to attract attention to self
          Greeting
          Answering
Communicative Forms
   Communicative forms/modes/means: the
    way a person communicate
       Words
       Gestures
       Signs
       Writing
       Behavior
       Facial expression
Contextual influences

   Contextual influences on
    communication: environmental
    factors that influence
    communicative interactions
  Environmental Influences

Environmental Influences

   Setting
       Activities
       Social climate
       Characteristics of partners
       Access and familiarity with setting
Environmental Influences

   Situational
       Routines
       Needs for assistance or objects
       Protest situations
       Opportunities for making choices
Environmental Influences
   Dyadic
       Partner responsiveness to initiations
       Developmental level of partner
       Compliance with/recognition of student
       Familiarity with student
       Repair attempts
       Topic maintenance
       Affect and attitude

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