Manual Autism: From Research to Individualized Practice

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Gabriels and Hill have succeeded admirably in this goal, with chapter topics ranging from diagnosis and genetics through to services for adults and families. This is an excellent and informative book that will be useful to many professionals in the fields of research, clinical practice or education. They have successfully evaluated the behavioural, neurological, social, and educational material and have provided the reader with analysis of the application of such data.

This inspiring text is highly recommended for both the researcher, as well as the clinician.

1. Early assessment and intervention is important

It has extensive references, recommended websites, and many practical suggestions and charting devices that could help professionals and families in assisting a child with autism. This book targets critical aspects of assessment, diagnosis, and treatment, as well as offering ideas on the integration of research findings and clinical application to aid the professional in addressing the child and family's needs. It provides the professional with a resource guide to assist the child and family from initial diagnosis through treatment.

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Overall, this a book worth recommending for therapists working in the field and it is good to see such a complex field looked upon with a view to gaining more empathy and understanding for the children and families involved. It reminds and clarifies, and promotes coherence within a complex field. In that it also provides up-to-date research information on various approaches to therapy, it is likely to be helpful, too, for those seeking an up-date on research in this area…it really does, as the title suggests, bridge the gap from research to individualised practice.

Related Subjects. Autism and Neurodiversity. Though autism is a familiar term in the early twenty-first century, it was only recognized in the s as a severe disability. Since that time, there has been extensive interest in and professional activity concerning autism. Children with autism have difficulty communicating, playing, and establishing relationships with others.

Autism, often referred to as a neurological disorder, is usually evident by age three, reported in all countries, and affects between 2 and 21 individuals per 10,, with 4 to 5 times more males than females diagnosed. About 80 percent of children with autism also meet the criteria for mental retardation, with significant limitations in IQ and adaptive behavior scores.

In Leo Kanner described those with autism as being unable to relate to themselves or others, with the term autism derived from the root auto for self. Since then, autism had been defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition, as a pervasive developmental disorder having three classic behavioral features for its diagnosis: "the presence of markedly abnormal or impaired development in social interaction and communication and a markedly restricted repertoire of activity and interests" p.

Currently the term autism spectrum disorders is used to refer to a comprehensive though controversial classification, which includes individuals with some characteristics of typical autism, but who may not be diagnosed with autistic disorder. Currently there is no biological diagnostic test for autism; diagnosis is based on behavioral indices.

History, Schools' Responses and Methods of Teaching, Goals and Purposes of Education

A diagnosis typically qualifies a child for special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act IDEA during infancy and the preschool years. The current incidence figures for autism have varied through the s and into the twenty-first century, leading many to believe that actual incidence is higher than previously calculated. Children with autism have extensive, long-term educational needs that require thorough planning by a multidisciplinary team, ongoing monitoring of progress, and a wide range of service options.

Individual Differences in Autism: Developmental Outcomes and Treatment Response

Pharmacological approaches are not viewed as being appropriate or effective for all, and must be used cautiously and in combination with sound educational treatments. All individuals must change from one activity to another and from one setting to another throughout the day. Whether at home, school, or in the workplace, transitions naturally occur frequently and require individuals to stop an activity, move from one location to another, and begin something new.

Individuals with autism spectrum disorders ASD may have greater difficulty in shifting attention from one task to another or in changes of routine. A number of supports to assist individuals with ASD during transitions have been designed both to prepare individuals before the transition will occur and to support the individual during the transition. When transition strategies are used, individuals with ASD:. Transition strategies are techniques used to support individuals with ASD during changes in or disruptions to activities, settings, or routines.

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The strategies attempt to increase predictability for individuals on the autism spectrum and to create positive routines around transitions. They are utilized across settings to support individuals with ASD. Transitions are a large part of any school or work day, as we move to different activities or locations.

Similar requirements for transitions are found in the employment and home setting as well, as individuals move from one task to another, attend functions, and join others for meals and activities.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Information

A variety of factors related to ASD may contribute to these difficulties during transitions. These may include problems in understanding the verbal directives or explanations that a teacher, parent, or employer are providing. When a teacher announces that an activity is finished and provides multi-step directions related to upcoming activities, students with ASD may not comprehend all of the verbal information. Individuals also may not recognize the subtle cues leading up to a transition i. Additionally, individuals with ASD are more likely to have restrictive patterns of behaviors per the diagnostic criteria that are hard to disrupt, thus creating difficulty at times of transitions.

Finally, individuals with ASD may have greater anxiety levels which can impact behavior during times of unpredictability, as some transitions are. Other factors, not unique to individuals with ASD, may impact transition behavior also. The individual may not want to start one activity or may not want to end another. In addition, the attention an individual receives during the transition process may be reinforcing or maintaining the difficult behavior.

Cueing individuals with ASD before a transition is going to take place is also a beneficial strategy. In many settings a simple verbal cue is used to signal an upcoming transition i. This may not be the most effective way to signal a transition to individuals with ASD, as verbal information may not be quickly processed or understood. In addition, providing the cue just before the transition is to occur may not be enough time for an individual with ASD to shift attention from one task to the next.

Allowing time for the individual with ASD to prepare for the transitions, and providing more salient cues that individuals can refer to as they are getting ready to transition may be more effective. Several visual strategies used to support individuals with ASD in preparation for a transition have been researched and will be discussed.

Concepts related to time are fairly abstract i.

Curriculum Materials and Programs for Individuals on the Autism Spectrum

Presenting information related to time visually can assist in making the concepts more meaningful. Research indicated that the use of a visual timer such as the Time Timer pictured below and available at timetimer. This timer displays a section of red indicating an allotted time.

The red section disappears as the allotted time runs out. Another visual transition strategy to use prior to a transition is a visual countdown system. The countdown differs, however, because there is no specific time increment used.

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This tool is beneficial if the timing of the transition needs to be flexible. Team members deciding to use this strategy need to make a countdown tool. This can be numbered or colored squares, as used in the photos below, or any shape or style that is meaningful to the individual. As the transition nears, a team member will take off the top item i.