Activities for Autistic Children

Parenting Children With Asperger's And High-functioning Autism

Mark Hutten, M.A is a practicing counseling psychologist and a professional parent-coach with experience of over 20 years in the field of High-Functioning Autism (HFA) and Asperger's. being the executive director of online parent support, LLC, Hutten presents several workshops and conducts numerous training courses for both professionals and parents dealing with HFA and Asperger's; besides, he works with hundreds of teenagers and children with HFA and Asperger's. Hutten is also an author of several articles that highlight parenting techniques based on highly effective research for dealing with children with HFA and Asperger's. The founder of the support group has published 'My out of control Child' and 'My out of control teen' eBooks. Most of Hutten's columns and articles discuss several ways of parenting young ones with conduct disorder, ODD, ADHD, Autism, Asperger's syndrome, Bipolar disorder, reactive attachment disorder, and many more conditions. The helpful parenting toolkit is all about a system that enables parents to minimize the child's meltdowns, low frustration tolerance, and tantrums, physical and verbal aggression, school-related behavior problems, social skills deficits, picky eating, attention difficulties, rigid thinking, problems completing homework, sleep problems, rituals and obsessions, and many more behavioral problems. The eBook is available for download. More here...

Parenting Children With Aspergers And Highfunctioning Autism Summary

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Author: Mark Hutten
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The Essential Guide to Autism

Here is just some of what you'll learn: 13 common Asd (Autism Spectrum Disorder) misconceptions and the real truth for each this information will greatly help put your mind at ease about this mysterious disorder. The three main signs of autism and how to quickly and easily recognize each. The three broad categories of autism and how to immediately tell in which category someone with autism belongs and what this means for their treatment. The 5 most recent, most accepted theories about the cause of Asds this information may surprise you. 13 questions all concerned parents should ask themselves if they think their child may have autism your responses to these questions will ensure you know what step to take next. 28 additional signs of autism youll know exactly what behaviors to look for when assessing your child or loved one. Common treatments for autism and how to know if a treatment is right for your child or loved one. 18 questions you should always ask before submitting your child or loved one for a particular treatment this information will help ensure your child receives the treatment thats right for him or her. The six most common autism treatments used today plus, whether or not it is good to combine treatments. The positives and negatives of using Applied Behavioral Analysis to treat autism and how to tell if your child is right for an Aba program. How to choose an Aba provider including four things that you should always look for before deciding upon a provider. The five steps involved in a successful Floor Time program if a program doesnt include all five of these steps then it is definitely not right for you child. The effectiveness of the most common alternative autism treatments plus, 14 things that you should always look for before selecting an alternative treatment program. How to use the diet to help control autism naturally diet experts agree that many symptoms can decrease in severity and some may even disappear with a change in diet learn more here. Supplements that have been shown to benefit those with autism and how to ensure your autistic child takes the supplements without having a battle on your hands. 6 tips for a successful supplementation program these tips will help you cut costs and ensure that your child adjusts to the program quickly and easily. How to cope with the stress of raising a child with autism this information will have you feeling better and more relaxed than you have in years. How to ensure the safety of a a child with autism follow these 12 simple tips and your childs safety is practically guaranteed. How to ensure the education needs of your child with autism are being met including seven questions that you should always ask your childs school. How to deal with an adolescent with autism follow these tips to safely navigate your way through this difficult time in anyones life. More here...

The Essential Guide to Autism Summary

Contents: EBook
Author: Rachel Evans
Official Website: www.essential-guide-to-autism.com
Price: $37.77

Autistic Spectrum Disorders

Asperger's syndrome is a condition along the autistic spectrum, now being more frequently recognized in adults, but with onset obligately in childhood. A disorder primarily affecting females, the genetic basis of Rett's disorder is being unraveled, and genetic testing may supplant clinical criteria. A more detailed listing of diagnostic criteria is listed in Chapter 7. It is included here because Rett's syndrome, aside from its genetic roots, is often classified among the autistic spectrum disorders, at least according to the standard DSM-IV scheme. Diagnostic Criteria for Autistic Disorder Childhood disintegrative disorder is nonspecific in terms of etiology. Children or adolescents with typical autism may regress in terms of previously developed skills. One should be careful in applying this diagnosis without a substantial search for more specific genetic, metabolic, toxic, or traumatic conditions that may incidentally fulfill the following diagnostic criteria. As the age of...

Autism Spectrum Disorders

Little is known about the cause and cure of autism. However, some psychotropic medications have been successfully used to reduce behaviors such as aggression, obsessions, overactivity, and stereotypies. A recent survey suggests that nearly 33 of one state's population of children with autism were receiving psychotropic medications, the most common being the stimulants and the antipsychotics (Werry & Aman, 1998). The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have been recommended to manage obsessive and ritualistic behaviors in this population.

About autism

Autism is defined as a severe developmental disorder characterized by deficits in communication and language, problems with social behaviour, and repetitive and stereotypical behaviour. Asperger's syndrome is often referred to as a milder variant of autism, but it is probably more accurate to say that it is a form of autism in people with a normal level of intelligence and when early speech development has not been delayed. Children with autism and those with Asperger's syndrome often share the same basic psychological deficits, and the basic principles of their education are often also similar. Autism cannot be cured, but many of the difficulties that this disorder creates can be eased via education, with a starting point of highlighting and clarifying the essential parts of any form of information we want to communicate to the child. Visual support aids are one of the obvious choices for this. However, when communication is aimed at people with autism,the need for visual support is...

Autism

Core features of autism include deficits in verbal and nonverbal communication as well as impaired social interaction. Atypical characteristics such as engagement in repetitive behavior, stereotyped movements, resistance to change, and unusual reaction to sensory stimuli may be present. Features of autism are frequently discernible prior to three years of age however, establishing a firm diagnosis at an early age is often difficult because limited language, developmental delay, or inattention complicate accurate identification. Autism is described as a spectrum disorder, meaning the expression of the disorder from one child to another varies in symptoms.

The Physical Arrangements

Many autistic children find it difficult to remain focused on what they are doing, and a picture can help remind them. Once the child's attention is secured, he or she is spared the interruptions of impulse actions. On reaching a particular destination, the child will then be able to match the picture with another one, or simply put it in his or her pocket to indicate that the activity has been successfully completed.

Preparing For Special Occasions

It may be possible to take autistic children to new places without preparation when they are younger, but as they get older and develop, their demands to understand their surroundings may increase. Unusual occasions can require more preparation than is necessary for events on the ordinary daily schedule.

Support For Learning New Skills

Children without autism often learn new skills by comparing themselves with others. Many autistic children do not show initiative in learning anything new, but need support to help them gain greater independence. Autistic children also need to experience as much pleasure and dignity as possible by being able to do things on their own. Being able to carry out something independently makes them less 'people dependent'. It can be difficult for the autistic child to relate experiences from one incident to another. By using a support system, the child is helped to become more flexible. For example, bath times at home and at the swimming pool are not very similar, but a support system can be the link that reinforces the similarities in the routine. Once the child - assisted by the support system -has learnt to apply the bath-time routine at the swimming pool, it may be possible for the support system to be phased out gradually.

Visual Support For Communication

A young non-autistic child who has not yet developed verbal language will normally communicate via gestures, which are interpreted by adults, and the child seems to have an expectation that the adults will be able to understand his or her needs. Autistic children who have yet to learn to speak can find it difficult to understand other people's signals, as well as having problems expressing their own basic needs such as hunger, thirst and the need for care, help and comfort. Autistic children with a well-developed spoken language can experience the same difficulties. Some children can therefore benefit from carrying a key ring with a card or a picture attached to remind them that they can ask for help. The autistic child can also find it difficult to communicate a choice. You can train the child to choose between two things,for example by presenting two very different items and, later on, two pictures.

Structured Activities

Once the autistic child has understood this way of working and the adults remember to vary the exercises without necessarily making them more difficult, these kinds of set exercises can be very relaxing. Many children who find it difficult to initiate play will ask to do exercises.

Everyday Education

Visual support for children with autism First published in 2002 in Danish by Center for Autisme, Bagsv rd, Denmark, as Hverdagsptfdagogik om visuel st0tte til hern med autisme Copyright Center for Autisme 2007 Foreword copyright Lennart Pedersen 2007 Translation copyright Karina Smedemark 2007

Arranging a bedroom

Dicte has a table where she can play and another one where she can work on the exercises in her boxes. The contents of her boxes vary (see Chapter 5). As autistic children often find it difficult to play on their own for any significant period of time, the assigned exercises can be put away so that the child can relax.

Daily Schedule

The purpose of the daily schedule is to make the day more manageable for the person with autism. The schedule needs to emphasize whether it is an ordinary day or whether there are likely to be changes. Will there be visitors, or does the shopping need to be done Will there be a trip to the hairdresser or to the dentist

Scheduled break

For some children, it can be difficult not to be kept busy. It can be hard to take a break if having to make your own plans is a problem. By using a few pictures, the child can participate in choosing which activities he or she would like to relax with. Most people with autism are most comfortable with a tidy room and therefore the room used for breaks should be tidied before it is used for puzzles, sewing and computer games.

Learning to choose

Many autistic children find it difficult to choose between two things and often repeat the last thing being offered. To make it easier to learn how to choose, you can start by letting the child choose between something desirable and something irrelevant, e.g. chocolate and a cucumber. Once the child is confident with this selection process, you can let him or her choose between two equally exciting things,for example chocolate and ice-cream.

Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

Childhood disintegrative disorder (also known as Heller syndrome) is characterized primarily by a regression in development starting after the child is two years of age. This regression follows a period of seeming normal development and may result in many of the characteristics of autism, except that it occurs later in development. Seizures appear to be more common in children with childhood disintegrative disorder. It is a rare disorder, but current estimates are of a prevalence rate of 0.11 in 10,000 children (Gillberg & Coleman, 2000). There may be more males identified than females. The etiology of childhood disintegrative disorder is unknown. It is most likely genetic in origin given the characteristic regression following an at least two-year period of normal development. Diagnosis is based on documentation of specific characteristics. As described in the DSM-IV, specific criteria include normal development for at least two years after birth. After 2 years of age, but before 10...

Pervasive Developmental Disordernot Otherwise Specified

Pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) is most similar to autism. This diagnostic category is used for children who exhibit characteristics similar to the other pervasive developmental disorders, but not enough of the characteristics to diagnose a specific one of them. Children who demonstrate qualitative impairment in social interaction, or in communication, or restricted or stereotyped behavior and interests may be included in this category. This differs from autism in that impairment in only one of these areas is required for diagnosis, not all three. If a child exhibits impairment in all three areas, but the number of symptoms present is low, or age of onset is later than typical, then the child may be diagnosed with PDD-NOS rather than autism. Given the similarities to autism, PDD-NOS may be assumed to also have similar etiology most likely a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Likewise, there may be multiple causes for PDD-NOS. The...

Facilitated Communication

In 1986 the Dignity through Education and Language Communication Centre (DEAL) opened in Victoria, Australia, to assist persons with severe communication disorders. Crossley introduced facilitated communication to DEAL, because of her belief that clients' physical problems did not permit them to readily use standard augmentative communication devices. Facilitated communication was determined to be an effective communication option for many of DEAL's clients, including those thought to have mental retardation and autism. From that point, word of FC spread throughout the United States. Professionals and parents perceived it to be the breakthrough that ultimately would allow people with severe disabilities to reveal their true abilities. Remarking on the rapid spread of FC information, Rimland (1992b) noted that facilitated communication workshops spread throughout the country and virtually every major newspaper, news magazine and news show ran stories on facilitated communication (p....

Point Versus Counterpoint Facilitated Communication

There appear to be equal numbers of qualitative and quantitative studies that evaluate FC's effectiveness. The purpose of the qualitative studies has consistently been to identify effective strategies and methods that facilitators use with participants. In contrast, the purpose of the quantitative studies has been to test FC's effectiveness with individuals with autism and related disabilities. These studies have attempted to validate FC by testing facilitator manipulation and ability of the participants to independently communicate. Interestingly, all the qualitative studies accomplished their purpose, namely to validate FC and identify further training techniques while the vast majority of quantitative studies reported that there is no scientific validity to FC. These two different philosophies and approaches to validating FC have led to further controversy surrounding appropriate methods of testing participants and facilitators in the actual attempts to validate FC. A review of FC...

Diagnostic Guidelines

Tics need to be distinguished from other movement disorders, including chorea, tremor, dystonia, and myoclonus. Unlike these basic movement disorder types, tics are unique in that they may be suppressed by the patient. Tics also need to be distinguished from stereotypes seen in autism or mental retardation. The lack of rhythmicity of tics helps in this differentiation. Obsessive-compulsive activities may resemble complex tics but differ in that the former are purposeful (such as tapping or turning a number of times).

Selfinjurious Behavior

Self-injurious behavior is among the most perplexing and serious forms of psychopathology in children with developmental disabilities. It is defined as the repetitive and deliberate infliction of harm to one's own body (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). Common forms of self-injury include self-biting self-punching and repetitive banging of the head and limbs against solid, unforgiving surfaces such as walls, tables and floors. Less common forms of self-injury include repeatedly dislocating and relocating joints eye gouging pulling out one's own hair, teeth, or fingernails pica, and self-mutilation of the genitals and rectum. Self-injurious behavior affects 8 to 14 of the child population with autism and or mental retardation. The vast majority of these children are nonverbal with IQs below 50. Fortunately, most children with self-injurious behavior respond favorably to treatment. Behavior therapy using positive reinforcement, medication, and various combinations of behavior...

Treatment Of Selfinjury

More than 20 billion has been spent in the care and treatment of children with autism and or mental retardation who have engaged in self-injurious behavior during the past five years. Approximately 65 of children with self-injury respond favorably to behavior therapy using positive reinforcement strategies (Repp & Singh, 1990). An additional 30 respond favorably to behavior therapy in combination with various medications. However, successful treatment of the remaining 5 is elusive and very expensive. Controversy abounds in the treatment of self-injury when a child has been unresponsive to conventional therapy and the behavior has worsened to levels where the child's life is at stake. Highly restrictive protective equipment is invariably applied in these cases and, in some instances, mechanical restraint may be necessary to ensure the child's safety. In such cases, there is considerable debate as to whether an experimental method such as faradic electric shock should be employed.

DNA Methylation and Human Disease

Rett syndrome and Fragile X syndrome are other genetic disorders that result from a disruption in the function of methylated DNA. Rett patients, who are almost all young females, at first develop normally. Later on, however, they develop mental retardation, autism, and movement disorders. These patients have a mutation in the gene for the methyl-binding protein MeCP2. This protein usually represses gene expression by binding tightly to methylated DNA and causing repression.

Subconscious Incubation

Unlike the many creative people who have mood disorders, people with autism have been shown to have a severe deficit of cognitive flexibility and impoverished creativity (Craig & Baron-Cohen, 1999). Studies of autism such as those that use theory of mind suggest that autism is associated with a deficit in top-down processing (Happe & Frith, 1996). For example, to test theory of mind, investigators might show relatively high-functioning people with autism a series of pictures or a video. In one such picture there are two women (a mother and her friend) walking, with the mother pushing a baby carriage that has an infant inside. This carriage has a hood so that a person has to look inside to see if the baby is in the carriage. They stop walking and the mother's friend goes inside her house to get something. While she is inside her house, the infant's grandmother comes out of another house, takes the infant out of the carriage, and brings the infant into her house. If asked, When the...

Written Language Assessment

A growing number of students in our school systems are experiencing difficulty with written expression. The etiology of these problems is certainly not singular and often is the result of a mixture of factors. The source of underachievement in written expression for some students rests with thinking or oral language abilities. Learning to organize experiences or transforming ideas to oral language is the key instructional goal for such individuals (e.g., language or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Other students are fluent in developing ideas and demonstrate adequate oral language abilities. However, the breakdown for these students might be in the coding of oral language into written symbols (e.g., dyslexia). Students demonstrating significant social cognition problems (e.g., autism, Asperger's disorder) encounter problems with a sense of audience. Motivational or anxiety problems surrounding the process of writing can interfere with fluency and quality of text for any...

Disability Categories

There are several categories of conditions or disorders defined in the IDEA that are deemed appropriate for special education services. These categories are autism, deaf-blind, deaf, hearing impairment, mental retardation, multiple disabilities, orthopedic impairment, other health impairment, serious emotional disturbance, specific learning disability, speech or language impairment, traumatic brain injury, and visual impairment including blindness. The states have established specific criteria for inclusion in special education. These criteria can vary widely between states. The entire IDEA document is available online at

Research On Classwide Peer Tutoring

Moderate and severe disabilities in middle school (McDonnell & colleagues, 2001), students with mild mental retardation in inclusive classroom settings (Mortweet & colleagues, 1999), and students with ADHD (DuPaul & colleagues, 1998). Kamps and colleagues (1994) also found that CWPT is effective with students with autism.

Selfmanagement Populations And Behaviors

Substantial research has supported the use of self-management interventions, documenting positive gains for a wide variety of students (Shapiro & Cole, 1994). Self-management interventions have produced positive changes for students with various school difficulties and disabilities, including students with autism, learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral disorders, health-related concerns, and mild to severe cognitive impairments. Additionally, self-management has been used in special education and general education classrooms, and on an individual or a classwide basis. Generally, self-management strategies can be effective for all ages or disability groups however, adapted procedures may be needed depending on the population and the goal. For example, students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may need more specific feedback for both their desirable and undesirable behaviors.

Psychotropic Medications

Important advances in psychotropic medications and significant developments in neuroscience have complemented our growing knowledge about the structural and functional differences of the central nervous system (CNS) in children diagnosed with learning disorders and emotional problems (Brown & Sammons, 2002). However, in spite of these recent advances, researchers and clinicians note that clinical use of psychotropic medications in children exceeds our knowledge about the efficacy and safety of these drugs. Unfortunately, no statistical database exists on how many children and adolescents are receiving psychotropic medications for specific disorders. However, some surveys with specific psychotropic drugs (i.e., stimulants) suggest increased use of these drugs (Safer & colleagues, 1999). The psychiatric disorders for which psychotropic medications have been most used include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, enuresis, mental retardation, and Tourette's syndrome.

Gender And Disabilities

The school experience is further complicated and the future even more uncertain for students with disabilities. Males have higher rates of autism, psychoses, and schizophrenia, as well as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and learning disabilities. Females are more likely to be diagnosed with depression however, teenage males are more likely to commit suicide. Female teens are more likely to display eating disorders. Many disorders have a genetic basis however, social expectations also contribute to gender differences in prevalence.

Retts Disorder

Although Rett's disorder (also called Rett syndrome) has some characteristics similar to autism, there are clear differences as well, and more is known regarding possible causes. Rett's disorder is a developmental disorder that is genetic in origin. It was first described by Dr. Andreas Rett in 1966 based on his observations of girls in his medical clinic. The girls had similar developmental courses including impairment in motor development and language and characteristic hand-wringing. It was not until the mid 1970s and early 1980s that descriptions of the disorder were published in English language medical journals and the disorder was given a name (International Rett Syndrome Association Web site, 2002). Rett's disorder primarily affects females (Gillberg & Coleman, 2000 Pevsner, 2001), with prevalence estimated to be between 1 in 15,000 to 1 in 20,000 females (Gillberg & Coleman, 2000 Pevsner, 2001). There are no differences in prevalence rates across socioeconomic status,...

Emovie

This study was supported by Autism Speaks, the Minerva Foundation, the Kalman and Ida Wolens Foundation, the Divadol Foundation, the Newman Foundation, a research grant from Mr. Erwin Pearl, the Bruce Rosen Foundation, the Kimmelman Center, the Israel Ministry of Science, Culture

Proteopedia

This study was supported by Autism Speaks, the Nalvyco Foundation, the Jean and Julia Goldwurm Memorial Foundation, the Benoziyo Center for Neuroscience, the Divadol Foundation, the Neuman Foundation, a research grant from Mr. Erwin Pearl, the European Commission Sixth Framework Research and Technological Development Programme 'SPINE2-COMPLEXES' Project under contract No. 031220 and 'Teach-SG' Project, under contract number ISSG-CT-2007-037198. JLS is the Morton and Gladys Pickman Professor of Structural Biology. E.H. is grateful to the Karyn Kupcinet Program and the Feinberg Graduate School (Weizmann Institute of Science) for a fellowship. The authors are very grateful to the Jmol and MediaWiki development teams for their support and development of their respective software packages. We also greatly appreciate the useful discussions with Gideon Schreiber, Yigal Burstein, Harry Greenblatt, John Moult, Israel Silman, Eric Martz and Steven Brenner, as well as the generous use of content...

Organic

Children with autism and or mental retardation who are nonverbal and lack an effective means for communicating illness may resort to self-injury in the form of repeatedly pressing or hitting an affected area, possibly to achieve an anesthetic effect, or they may merely attack the affected area out of frustration over the discomfort it creates.

Acknowledgements

We acknowledge financial support by Autism Speaks, the Nalvyco Foundation, the Bruce Rosen Foundation, a research grant from Mr. Erwin Pearl, the Jean and Jula Goldwurm Memorial Foundation, the Kimmelman Center for Biomolecular Structure and Assembly, and the Minerva Foundation to JLS, by the Benziyo Center for Neuroscience to IS, by the Israel Science Foundation to IS & JLS, and by Grant Number U54NS058183 from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) of the US Army. The structures were determined in collaboration with the Israel Structural Proteomics Center (ISPC), supported by the Israel Ministry of Science, Culture and Sport, the Divadol Foundation, the Neuman Foundation, the European Commission Sixth Framework Research and Technological Development Programme 'SPINE2-COMPLEXES' Project under contract No. 031220, and the 'Teach-SG' Project, under contract number ISSG-CT-2007-037198. JLS is the incumbent of the Morton...

Echolalia

Echolalia refers to persistent and inappropriate repetition or echoing of heard speech, either immediately or after a brief delay. The individual may repeat a single word or a phrase. For example, if someone says, Let's walk over here, a child might echo, here or Let's walk over here. This behavior is usually associated with Tourette's syndrome, schizophrenia, or dementia, but most commonly occurs in children with autism. Echolalia may also be associated with focal brain injury or other developmental or neurological disorders, although this is not typical. While toddlers are notorious for imitating heard speech, this strategy for language acquisition is both purposeful and fleeting. In contrast, echolalia occurs at later stages of development, including adulthood, and may be involuntary. Use of this term indicates that the speaker's facility with language is limited echolalic speech may be irrelevant to the situation and is often characterized by unusual intonation (e.g., wooden or...

Some Pathologies

Personal, social, economic dimensions - fuzzy distinction between neuroses and psychoses -mind brain dichotomy - differing therapies. Prions many different neurodegenerations -presently incurable - coded by gene on chr. 20 - aetiology - prions are replicative proteins -replicative mechanism - proliferative routes - transmissibility - can prions cross species barrier - therapies PKU many metabolic defects - PKU due to defect in phenylalanine-hydroxylase co-factors - lethal build-up of phenylpyruvate - therapy. Fragile X (FraX) deficiency of FRM1 gene on X chr. - trinucleotide repeat pathology - autism and mental defect. Neurofibromatoses (NF) NF1 gene on chr. 17-encodes GAP protein - biochemistry NF2 gene on chr. 22 - encodes protein involved in cytoskeleton. Motor neuron disease (MND) (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)) - disease of motor outflow - SOD1 - protects against superoxide radicals - probably multifactorial. Huntington's disease (HD) basal ganglia -movement disorder -...

Fragile X Syndrome

Fragile X syndrome is the most common genetic cause for mental retardation and the most common known cause for autism. In 1994, a working group for the American College of Medical Genetics published guidelines for fragile X testing. These included testing any person with unexplained mental retardation, developmental delay, or autism, especially if physical or behavioral characteristics commonly associated with the

Early Intervention

Early intervention (EI) is best seen as a system of multidisciplinary services designed to support those family interactions that enhance optimal development of children ages birth to three years. The benefits of such a system include remediating existing developmental difficulties, preventing the future effect of these difficulties, alleviating potential delays, limiting the development of additional handicaps, and promoting improved family functioning. These goals are accomplished by providing a wide array of therapeutic and developmental services for children, coupled with instruction and support for families. EI serves children with difficulties deriving from established disabilities (Down syndrome, autism, visual aural impairments, etc), as well as environmental risks (dis-advantaged families, maltreating parents, low-birth-weight child). Martha Carlton See also Autism Spectrum Disorders Head Start

Infant Assessment Is

The term developmental delay is commonly used as a label to signify the absence of typical development. Other labels that are becoming more common in their application to infants include mental retardation, autism, and multiple disabilities. Each of these labels ensures the provision of appropriate early intervention services. Many question the ability to diagnose such disorders in infants and very young children yet there is a growing body of research noting that specific behavioral and or skill deficits occur in infancy that are early signs of disorders such as autism. See also Autism Spectrum Disorders Cerebral Palsy Communication Disorders Early Intervention Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Fragile X Syndrome Individuals With Disabilities Education Act Motor Assessment Prevention

Aspergers Disorder

Controversy surrounds Asperger's disorder, as many question whether this disorder represents a milder form of autism, a separate disorder similar to autism, or an entirely different disorder that does not even belong under the same umbrella of disorders as autism. Currently, Asperger's disorder is found under the umbrella of pervasive developmental disorders and is defined separately from autism. A physician in Germany named Hans Asperger (1906-1980) was the first to describe the constellation of characteristics that comprise what is now called Asperger's disorder in a paper published in 1944. It was not until the early 1980s, however, that this article was translated to English and became more widely known (Cumine & colleagues, 1998). Studies have been unclear in determining a prevalence rate for Asperger's disorder. It appears to affect more males than females however, exact ratios have not been identified. There are no known differences related to socioeconomic status, culture,...

Research

Applied to benefit individuals primarily from birth through age 18 years. Recently, however, there has been an impetus for school psychologists to study and conduct research on issues pertaining to individuals across the life span, because learning is believed to continue indefinitely. Although research in school psychology is usually conducted in schools or other educational settings (e.g., residential facilities for individuals with disabilities, therapeutic nurseries), there is no particular limitation imposed on where data may be collected. Similarly, there is no limitation placed on who may collect the data (e.g., academicians, practitioners, graduate students, or paraprofessionals). The participants in research studies may include young children, college students, individuals with specific disorders (e.g., learning disabilities, autism, attention deficit disorder), or other individuals.

Behavior

Labels such as autism, schizophrenia, learning disability, and attention deficit disorder are names given to a group of observable behaviors that generally aid in describing individuals and their characteristics. For example, if a child is labeled autistic then one expects to see particular behaviors such as mimicking others' statements and engaging in stereotypies or repetitive behaviors (e.g., rocking back and forth, hand-flapping, and finger-waving). Furthermore, a label of autism would signify behaviors such as a lack of social response, moving away from

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