Individuals diagnosed with Aspergers or another autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may be presented with many challenges throughout their lives—especially during the transitional periods. As the individuals age and learn to use different skills in various environments, families, educators, medical professionals and the individuals themselves begin to anticipate the transition to adolescence and, eventually, to adulthood. Given the differences in abilities and
When it comes to setting the stage for learning, individuals on the Autism Spectrum need to continue their learning experiences even after school. This requires responsibility from therapists, caregivers, and parents. Each must work together to help create a learning environment in the home that continues to provide opportunity to expand the vital skills a child is working on. This includes setting up a home
Anxiety-related symptoms are frequent concerns in children, adolescents and adults with Aspergers and HFA, which may be treatable with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Anxiety is commonly found in high functioning individuals on the spectrum in particular because they have an increased awareness of their own social difficulties. This cognitive awareness may intensify their anxiety toward social interaction and promote isolation. Recent
Reinforcement in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) focuses on the outcome of the behavior and increasing the likelihood of certain behaviors occurring in the future. There are two types of reinforcement: positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is when a response is followed immediately by the presentation of a stimulus and, as a result, similar responses occur more frequently in the future.
The main use of ABA for individuals on the autism spectrum is to decrease challenging behaviors and increase appropriate skills. Here are the three steps for utilizing ABA to decrease challenging behaviors and increase appropriate skills: Step 1: Assessment The first step in decreasing problem behavior is to conduct a functional behavior assessment, which determines the function of challenging behavior.
How do we decrease neurological stress? The following is an excerpt from my recent book titled “Visual Supports for Visual Thinkers: Practical Ideas for Students with ASDs and Other Special Educational Needs” Visual processing A research team funded by the National Institutes of Health found that, in people with autism, brain areas normally associated with visual tasks also appear to
Sensory processing disorder (SPD) can make participation in life activities—what occupational therapists refer to as occupations—very difficult. Luckily, there are options and strategies to help improve sensory processing and make life much smoother and more enjoyable. Sensory-based occupational therapy (OT), may look like play to adults, but to the child it is their work and necessary for improving overall abilities
Motivation is key when using reinforcement to change the behavior of individuals with Aspergers or HFA. When you think about it, it makes sense that motivation is at the center of it all. If a child or individual is motivated, they are more willing to make certain changes in their behavior and do what you want. Using motivation as a
Your child may not know how to use language appropriately in social situations. This undeveloped social skill can cause your child to unintentionally say harmful or rude comments to others. Even when able to say words clearly in complex sentences with correct grammar, a child still may have a communication problem – if they have not mastered the rules for
Since feeding involves all sensory systems (sight, smell, sound, touch, and taste), eating is the most difficult sensory task that children face. Feeding issues are especially common in children with autism, including those with Aspergers, because of difficulties with sensory processing. In many cases, this leads to eating challenges at mealtimes. “Food chaining,” from the book by the same name,
Once a child is becomes more competent in his or her ability to think multi-causally, the next focus of higher level social-emotional thinking is the capacity to understand the gray areas of life. Adolescents and young adults with Aspergers or HFA are especially prone to hitting an emotional rut when speaking in terms of “never” and “always”—hallmark terms associated with “black
Some individuals with Aspergers or HFA may engage in crisis behavior that interferes with their learning, puts themselves or others at risk, prevents them from participating in various activities, or impedes the development of relationships. Crisis behavior can range in severity from low productivity to meltdowns that involve aggression, self-injury, or property destruction. Many individuals unfamiliar with Aspergers may believe these