Disability is a natural part of the human experience and in no way diminishes the right of individuals to live independently, enjoy self-determination, make choices, contribute to society, pursue meaningful careers, enjoy full inclusion and integration in the economic, political, social, cultural, and educational mainstream of American society. (Shipley, 2002) Children on the Autism Spectrum (AS) learn social interaction skills through modeling, coaching, and direct-instruction. The negative behaviors that isolate children from being accepted by peers are shaped into socia...
One in sixty-eight children in the U.S. have an Autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which is a 30% increase from 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Autism is more common than childhood cancer, cystic fibrosis, and multiple sclerosis combined (Ana Maria Rodriguez, Autism Spectrum Disorders).A common sign of Autism is difficulties in social interaction. Autism socially impairs by making it difficult to interpret others’ emotions, not understanding social cues, and inhibiting the ability to initiate or carry on conversations. According to Elaine Landau in the book Autism, children with Autism do not respond to situations the same as other children and slowly develop language skills.
Regardless of whether it is correct or not, the assumption is sometimes made that children who have been diagnosed with Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder, tend to be placed in the group that is associated with possessing behavioral problems such as rudeness, being obnoxiously loud, or incapable of sitting still. In addition, they are sometimes seen as not being able to communicate effectively and their social skills and emotional control are lacking in many areas (Boso, et.al, 2007); therefore, it is necessary to make sure all approaches are analyzed to help those children with Autism or Autism Spectrum Disorder be able to live as normal life as possible.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by problematic social interaction and significant communication impairment, together with the presence of behavior, actions, and interests that are recurring and restraining. (American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2000). These patients face tremendous difficulties in their adolescent to maintain peer relationships and have very few associates, with many of them not even understanding the concept of loneliness. (Bauminger and Kasari, 2000; Orsmond et al., 2004). According to Bauminger and Kasari, (2000), these children had at least one friend but their friendship was lacking the most basic elements, i.e., companionship, security, and assistance. These children prefer not to engage in social activities (Buttimer and Tierney, 2005), well thought-out activities, organized games, (Law et al., 2006) actions requiring them to leave the house or requiring energy expenditure (Brown and Gordon, 1987).
Autism is a form of neurodevelopment disorder in the autism spectrum disorders. It is characterized by impaired development in social interactions and communication, both verbal and non-verbal. There is an observed lack of spontaneous acts of communication; both receptive and expressed, as well as speech impairments. A person diagnosed with Autism will also show a limited range of activities and interests, as well as forming and maintain peer relationships. The individuals will display limited interests, which are often very focused and repetitive. He or she is likely to be very routine oriented and may show behavioral symptoms such as hyperactivity, impulsivity, aggressiveness, and self-injurious behaviors.
Amazingly, one percent of new births will have some type of autism (Autism Society of America, 2010). Asperger’s disorder is one type of Autism, and is at the high end of these disorders. This “disorder, which is also called Asperger's syndrome (AS) or autistic psychopathy, belongs to a group of childhood disorders known as pervasive developmental disorders (PDDs) or autistic spectrum disorders”(Exkorn, 2006). A characteristic of this disorder is harsh and strict disruption of a certain type of brain development. The most affected areas of Asperger's disorder is difficulty in social understanding and in behavior or activities that are limited or recurring (Frey, 2003). Students with Asperser’s have different levels of seriousness, which makes it difficult to make the proper diagnosis, but each student will have some trouble with “interpersonal, motor, and language characteristics” (Safran, 2002). There is a significant amount of misinformation about this disorder in the public, not just the general public, but also the medical and educational professional. A significant amount of this misinformation claims children with this disorder will never achieve the basic level of competence necessary to function in school. Current literature shows that this is false. This paper accepts the current position that these students can function in an educational and social environment, and will show that further progress can be made. Specifically, this paper will show that a student with Asperger’s will be better able to function in school with early diagnosis, assistance of educators and the support of the family.
A mother and father sit alone in a crowded room. Their little boy sits by himself in a corner- he doesn’t laugh or talk or smile. The child simply rocks back and forth. The mother calls the boys name, but there is no response; there is not even a gesture towards her desperate whisper. The boy is autistic. His mother and father have been battling his lack of communication and motor functioning for years. Autism may seem like a condition in isolation, but people have come to believe that the prevalence of Asperger Syndrome has grown in recent years. In the United States, it is concluded that 1 in 252 girls and 1 in 54 boys are pronounced autistic (“What is Autism?”). Identified as a developmental brain disorder, autism affects approximately 1 in 110 children living in the United States (Aldridge). Children with autism have problems interacting socially with others, including lack of communication skills and deceased abilities to form emotions and relationships. According to the RSS Autistic Spectrum Disorder Foundation, these children lack the “spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interest, or achievements” with fellow peers (“How Your Child Can”). This increased impairment of mother skills causes children with autism to experience obsessive habits, decreased muscle coordination, and delayed speech and language development.
Although some debate exists among researchers, AS is considered part of the autism spectrum (Attwood, 1998). Autism is generally defined as having an impairment of both normal social interactions and communication (Out of the Deep Freeze, 2003). However, individuals with AS are often highly verbal (Gottlieb, 2003). Even though labeled high-functioning autism, AS may cause the greatest disability in adolescence and young adults when it comes to developing social relationships. People with AS desire social interactions, however they lack the appropriate social skills (Barnhill, 2002) and, in turn, have trouble interacting with people (Travis, 2003). They do not have the ability to read social cues and will often display socially and emotionally inappropriate behaviors: lack of empathy, one-sided interactions, pedantic and repetitive speech, and intense absorption in certain subjects (Attwood, 1998). Non-verbal communications skills are also impaired. These may include: limited use of gestures, clumsy body language, limited facial gestures, inappropriate expression, and peculiar, stiff gaze (Attwood, 1998). Additional characteristics of AS include literal thinking, poor problem-solving skills, poor organizational skills, and difficulty in discriminating between relevant and irrelevant stimuli (Myles & Simpson, 2002).