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Autism is a brain disorder and or condition that impairs a person’s ability to communicate, form relationships, socially interact, and respond appropriately within a given environment.
May avoid eye contact May appear or respond as if deaf May lack awareness of the existence feelings of others Can be physically aggressive or have outbursts when familiar environment or routine is changed Can remain fixated on single activity or object May engage in strange actions such as hand flapping, rocking, or flicking objects
preoccupied with certain objects . such as scratching. May lick toys/objects May not show sensitivity to pain (burns.bruises) May engage in self-injurious behavior. Weighted vest) Shows repetitive interests and activities. biting. or picking Impaired social interaction Impaired verbal/non-verbal communication Seeks sensory input (ex.
Absence of imaginative activity May withdraw from people Abnormal response to external stimuli such as sound and lights May lack appropriate play May be tactile defensive May be sensitive to touch .
These studies are looking at various parts of the brain and how they function compared to a “typical” child.CAUSE Research continues to determine the causes of autism. Scientists have presented several hypotheses. to include: .
The area known as the amygdala helps regulate social and emotional behavior. these chemical differences could distort sensations in individuals with autism. Brain cells may migrate to the wrong place in the brain that could affect communication skills. Research will continue as to the cause of autism that could someday lead to permanent treatment and prevention procedures. Since neurotransmitters are responsible for the passage of nerve impulses to the brain. Scientists have found impairments of the amygdala in autistic children. . Research has found that individuals with autism may have high levels of the neurotransmitter serontonin.
Autism occurs in 5-15 per 10. most persons with autism share problems associated with social. motor. Boys are four times more likely to get autistic symptoms . Others may be high functioning individuals that can speak and are very intelligent.Generalizations Autistic symptoms must be present before the age of 3. and sensory issues. The disability can affect the individual’s level of functioning in a variety of ways. The symptoms of individuals with autism can vary. Some individuals with autism may have severe cases in which they have mental retardation and serious language delays. however. communication.000 children.
Prognosis Autism is a very challenging disability to solve because of many unknown factors. With proper therapy sessions. proper procedures such as therapy must be taken to help these individuals handle their problems. Autistic children with IQ scores of 70 and above. individuals with autism can improve their modes of communication and socialization to live very productive independent lifestyles in society. normally can live and work more productive independent lifestyles within society . Since there is no cure for autism.
hearing. Individuals with autism are often labeled incorrectly as “loners” because of their inability to socially interact. taste. vision. Individuals with autism usually demonstrate some aspect of impairment of their senses throughout life. Approximately 33% of children with autism will eventually develop epilepsy. and sensory issues. These could include: smell. Autism symptoms vary from mild to severe. The highest risk is with children that have severe cognitive impairments and motor deficits . The prognosis for these individuals depends on the severity of their disability and the level of therapy they receive.
cardiovascular endurance. muscular strength. and self-confidence. . Also. muscular endurance. Individuals with autism can live very active lifestyles. an active lifestyle is more likely to help these individuals with weight control.self-esteem. This will depend on the severity of the disability. They are very capable of performing most physical activities.
(ie: Knobby balls) Videotapes can be useful for autistic children who can follow visual cues. This will help in writing IEP objectives and goals.IMPLICATIONS FOR PHYSICAL EDUCATION May need 1:1 supervision for child Provide an initial screening process to determine student’s physical strengths and weaknesses. Establish routines and smooth transitions throughout the lesson Modify equipment-Provide balls that will provide sensory output during activities. .
strength. (flexibility. Find out the students physical activity interests. Autistic children like deep pressure that helps them relax. Weighted backpacks/vest can help provide this deep pressure. muscular endurance) Walking/Hiking Bike riding (Type of bike will depend on ability/balance levels) Swimming: An excellent low impact activity that can benefit student in a variety of health-related ways Activities that require the use of their senses.RECOMMENDED ACTIVITIES Any activity that requires vigorous activity and will improve their overall fitness levels. .cardiovascular endurance.
Activities that require a lot of contact.CONTRAINDICATED ACTIVITIES Having class in a loud and/or bright environment. providing too much stimuli within the environment. Spending too much time on a single activity and not providing enough choices .
EFFECTIVE TEACHING STRATEGIES Use teaching stations Change activities regularly Eliminate different distractions Keep directions short and age-appropriate. . smells. lights will not interfere with learning. Teach in less stimulating environment. Use sensory stimulation to increase attention span Use smooth transitions Instruct in an environment were noise.
Establish predictable routines within lessons Create high structured environment which is organized and predictable Warm-up. Keep motivational music at low level. Closure . Activity. Provide students with ear plugs/cotton balls in noisier environment.
Use visual aids during activities Use vigorous aerobic exercises to keep student on task Use a consistent behavior modification program Provide lots of practice time/repetitions. . Show enthusiasm when teaching.
.Preschool-Elementary considerations Use a reward system like sticker chart Teach students basic loco-motor and object control skills.
Secondary Provide reward system that allows students the opportunity to participate in enjoyable activity. Teach students lead-up activities for team. Teach students lifelong activities that can be used for the rest of their lives. and cooperative activities. . individual. Have child perform task and draw parts of a picture (face) every time task is completed Use a peer tutor to assist child in learning.Middle School . Allow choices when setting up the curriculum so they can choose an activity that is of interest to them.
while decreasing instructional and transition periods Check for basic understanding to make sure students know expectations Provide a structured environment with appropriate routines Challenge the students to keep them motivated Provide a reward system for good attitudes and behavior Provide non-verbal feedback and encouragement with high 5’s and cheering .Use Positive Behavior Management Strategies Set realistic goals and expectations Increase amount of activity time.
Be consistent and fair with your rules and consequences Use proximity control if a problem is arising Get to know the students and show interest toward them outside of the physical education environment. . Create a positive and enthusiastic environment for everyone Provide vigorous activities to help students remain on task.
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