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Students with an Autism Spectrum Disorder - A Guide for Staff
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are lifelong developmental disabilities. The word “spectrum” is an umbrella term used as the range and severity of the difficulties people with ASD experience vary widely. Some people are able to live relatively 'normal everyday' lives whilst others will require a lifetime of specialist support.
Asperger Syndrome is one of the Autism Spectrum Disorders. Asperger Syndrome is distinguished from the other Autism Spectrum Disorders in having no general delay in language or cognitive development
Adapted from: http://www.lilmackids.org/autism-spectrum-disorders.htm
VIDEO - Understanding Autism
The exact cause of Autism is unknown.It is suggested to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors that causes an abnormality of the brain development and function.
The characteristics of ASD are distinguished by impairments in communication, social interaction, and the development of restricted and repetitive interests and behaviours.
literal interpretations e.g. if you say ‘it’s raining cats and dogs’ a person with ASD may go outside to see if it is literally raining cats and dogs
abrupt transitions from one topic to another
oddities in loudness, pitch, tone and rhythm
difficulty developing friendships or enjoying unstructured conversations with others
impaired non-verbal behaviours such as poor or sustained eye contact
odd facial expression
Interests and behaviours
narrow areas of interest
collect relatively large amounts of information on a narrow topic
stereotyped and repetitive behaviours e.g. hand movements such as flapping and complex whole body movements