Understand and step toward right direction!
Autism is a condition and not a disease. Many parents and individuals believe that it can be cured through medicine or somebody's miracle or magic.
It's my 15 years rich and concrete experience with children having autism. Through the right methods, using appropriate teaching strategies like tasks. Analysis, individual instruction, prompts etc and behaviour modification techniques, periodical evaluations restructured the curriculum according to the child's intellectual functioning. Children with autism will excel their talents at the right time and they will lead their life independent or partially dependent.
At present, a lot of parents are falling in wrong hands so that children with autism will become vulnerable groups and they get exploited frequently.
It's really very pathetic that we can not prevent the people who seek the unknown remedy for the known problem. Maybe because of wrong guidance.
Each individual's understanding,
Application and handling always differ. But we the people have to guide them properly.
ASD or Autism Syndrome Disorder is an umbrella term that encompasses a range of syndromes such as autistic disorder, Asperger’s syndrome as well as a pervasive neurodevelopmental disorder.
Autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders are more common in boys than in girls. The autism spectrum is characterized by impaired social interaction and communication skills, repetitive or restricted behaviour, and problems of speech. In fact, speech and language development issues are the commonest identifiers of autism and similar diseases.
Language, Speech and Communication Issues
While not all types of autism disorders exhibit these problems, they are prevalent in most people diagnosed with ASD. Even so, the extent of the problems is not homogenous and differs from person to person.
Speech and language, or in other words, the ability to communicate can be broken down into a few stages –
Firstly, the individual has to feel an urge or need to communicate
The need could arise if the individual wants to convey some thought or feeling or if he/she has to respond to a situation or to another person
Next, the brain produces a detailed and clear picture of the message
The message is then transformed more solidly into words
And in the last stage, through meaningful and structured language the words are articulated
During the entire process, quite a few faculties of the brain are involved, paying attention to the external stimuli, interpreting the sounds, images, smells or taste or the meaning of words uttered by others, figuring out the correct response, and modulating the emotional response on which will depend on the tone, pitch and volume of the person’s speech.
People with autism or ASD, usually face challenges in one or more of the steps explained above. For example – they may not be able to grasp or interpret societal structure or interpret norms of established communication, which makes them both unable and unwilling to interact with others – or maybe because they are unable to create a complete message in their brains, which means they are unable to respond accurately through speech. It could also be that they find it difficult to decode the messages that their sense organs are picking up or they are unable to learn a language. Some have problems with coordinating the movements of the tongue or lips or controlling their breathing.
Treatment of Speech and Language Problems in Autism
Since autism shows its signs and symptoms very early on in life, it is best that children are taken to therapy as soon as possible. A specialist or psychologist will meticulously asses the child. Treatment starts with pinpointing the issue and in which developmental stage it has manifested itself.
Usually, speech and language therapy is recommended for them.
Help them learn a language through means that they can grasp
Making the muscles of the mouth, lips, jaw and neck stronger to help articulate words
Comprehending emotions from facial expressions and body language
Controlling pitch and volume
Learning to enunciate words precisely and clearly
Communication through drawing
Answering questions fielded at them
Therapy is rewarding but at times can be challenging for both the child and his/her parents. That is why there will be family sessions, where parents will be made aware of their child’s unique needs. Unconditional support and love will be required to integrate children with ASD completely into the society.
Treatment for every child with neurodevelopmental disorders should be designed to meet their specific needs. A variety of therapy options have proven to be successful – but the two approaches that work exceptionally well together in improving the child’s social and communication skills are ABA therapy and speech therapy.
What is ABA Therapy?
ABA or Applied Behavioural Analysis is a widely accepted therapy for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The therapy focuses on enhancing specific behaviours, like communication and social skills, academics and reading, and adaptive learning skills, like hygiene, grooming, fine motor dexterity, domestic capabilities, and punctuality. ABA is effective for adults and children with psychological disorders in different settings, including homes, schools, and the workplace.
ABA therapy, through its multiple sessions of various programs, aims to equip the troubled individual, who is lagging behind his/her peers in learning with specialized instructions – thereby helping the child to acquire the necessary skills to live a successful life. Over time, the goal of the therapy is to reduce gradually or eliminate the need for instructions and support. In simpler words, the therapist aims to make the child aware of the foundation skills that are needed to respond appropriately and accurately throughout his/her life.
How does ABA work?
ABA therapy involves a variety of techniques to understand and change specific behaviours. It is based on teaching certain skills through positive reinforcement and observation.
A behaviour followed by something that is valued – for example, a reward – is likely to be repeated. This, over time, encourages positive behaviour change. The therapist will first identify goal behaviour. Every time the child successfully uses the skill or behaviour, he/she gets a meaningful reward – for example, a book or a toy, praise, the permission to watch a program on the TV etc.
Consequence, Behaviour, Antecedent
Understanding the consequences and antecedents is another essential part of the ABA program. The three steps, ‘A-B-C’s help us understand and teach behaviour.
An antecedent is what happens right before the target behaviour. It may either be verbal – a request or a command – or physical – an object or a toy, sound or light etc. An antecedent can come from the environment or from another person, or be internal – as a thought or feeling.
A resulting behaviour refers to the individual’s response or lack of it to the antecedent. It may be a verbal response or an action.
A consequence is what comes following the behaviour. It may include positive reinforcement of the expected behaviour or no reaction for inappropriate/incorrect responses.
With repeated practice, the child will be able to replace the inappropriate behaviour with a more helpful one.
What is Speech Therapy?
Speech therapy focuses on upgrading a child’s speech and abilities to express and understand language. The therapy can help individuals with different types of speech disorders and language issues, like dyspraxia and dyslexia.
How does Speech Therapy work?
Speech therapy works by addressing the following problems –
Articulation – Difficulty forming sounds in syllables or speaking incorrectly to the extent that the listener is unable to understand the words spoken
Fluency – Problems (like stuttering) in which the flow of speech gets interrupted by partial-word repetitions, abnormal stoppages, or prolonged syllables and sounds
Voice or Resonance – Problems with the volume, quality, and pitch of voice that distract listeners from what is being said
Receptive Language Disorder – Difficulty receiving or understanding the language
Expressive Language Disorder – Trouble putting words together, inability to use language in a socially appropriate way, or limited vocabulary
Cognitive-communication Disorders – Trouble with communication skills, including attention, memory, perception, regulation, organization, and problem solving
How does Speech Therapy and ABA work together?
Speech therapy and ABA therapy together are important to ensure the success of the treatment for the child. From improved social skills to better intellectual abilities – both the therapies can help individuals adjust to normal life. Through the ‘twin approach’, children are able to develop emotional and social skills as their peers.
Children with certain psychological and speech disorders, who receive therapy, are more likely to remain in school. They have shown drastic improvement in academics and communication. Individuals have also shown remarkable improvement in areas, like imitation, non-verbal expression, matching, receptive language, and expressive language. Children have shown great performance on IQ tests after the therapy.
To achieve the desired outcome, parents and the therapist should work together to support the child.
World Autism Awareness Day is an internationally recognized day on 2 April every year, encouraging the Member States of the United Nations to take measures to raise awareness about people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) throughout the world. It was designated by the United Nations General Assembly resolution "62/139. World Autism Awareness Day", passed in council on 1 November 2007, and adopted on 18 December 2007. It was proposed by the United Nations representative from Qatar, Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, Consort of His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Emir of the State of Qatar, and supported by all member states.
World Autism Day is one of only seven official health-specific UN Days. The day itself brings individual autism organizations together all around the world to aid in things like research, diagnoses, treatment, and acceptance for those affected by this developmental disorder. This resolution was passed and adopted without a vote in the UN General Assembly, mainly as a supplement to previous UN initiatives to improve human rights.
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or Autism is an umbrella term for a group of developmental disorders that are neurological in origin and cause social, communication and behavioural challenges. Autism is not a mental illness.
Autism is a disorder-look out at both the social and medical model of the disorder. The disorder is sometimes considered as an impairment. Impairment in one or more areas like physically, intellectually, cognitive and sensory wise and so and so forth. So, you think an answer is a person who is disabled. We can say who has impairment is disabled but it is not that simple to answer.
What is a medical model disorder?
A medical model disorder is the model is in which doctors or researchers, medical practitioners look into disorder and illness.
It’s basically a re-foundation of how we treat the sick, injured or disabled people in our society. However, it inserts two things. First, any deviation from the norm must be corrected (the average neuroticism non-disable norm) is bad and must be corrected. Whether or not, this results in any impairment or is not harmful in any way. Two, in the medical model of the disorder, the physician is central to the whole process and helps to understand the situation and getting people better.
Most autistic people have a special interest like someone have arts, some have an interest in signing. Some have an interest in dance and this list goes on for this passion. They learn from the world in which they develop and cure. Some doctors call their passion as an obsession. Basically, a topic an autistic is very interested in. They love it a lot. However, we may look that it is not a wrong way to be passionate about something you like or have a hobby to enjoy your free time. Stopping them to be normal as this autism is considered as a disorder in the society and forcing your child to improve like making more eye contact or other various ways will only degrade their passion inside them. So, this cure culture says that autistic children, they have to be a cure and if they cant cure they must be considered something that separates them from medical model disorder.
What is the social model disorder?
From the UK, we coined the term social model disorder. Because there are different aspect of the disorder as per able people and disable people in society. If a person has impairment like physical, social, or cognitive disorder. It’s not an impairment that makes them disable, its the social exclusion of impairment. Secondly, when it comes to understanding the reason, it becomes the topic of society for ill people. Children with autism can speak but they may have problems because of delayed language development. With effective early intervention, it is possible for them to develop their verbal skills.
While autism cannot be cured, there are many treatment options that can help children cope with autism. The most effective treatment is an intensive, individualized intervention that includes behavioural, social and psychological components. Most of the children who receive appropriate intervention grow on to become fairly independent adults and lead a normal life. It is important to note that children with autism have a range of abilities that can be used to their advantage.