Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders
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  • 0:04 Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • 1:01 ASD Causes
  • 1:27 ASD Diagnosis
  • 3:36 ASD in Academics
  • 5:32 Autism in Adulthood
  • 6:10 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Marquis Grant
This lesson will highlight issues that are relevant to teachers of students with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), including causes, diagnosis, education and transition into adulthood. A short quiz will follow to test your knowledge.

Autism Spectrum Disorders

As a teacher, it's really important for you to understand the different types of autism spectrum disorders so that you're better able to support students with these disorders in your classroom.

The term autism spectrum disorders (ASD) is used to describe five disabilities that generally impact an individual's neurological development. These disabilities include autism, Asperger's syndrome, pervasive developmental delay-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), Rett syndrome, and childhood disintegrative disorder (CDD).

Once classified as separate disorders, these five disabilities are now classified under the umbrella of ASD. The three most common types of ASD that you, as a teacher, may encounter in your class are Asperger's Syndrome, PDD-NOS, and autism, with Rett syndrome and childhood disintegrative disorder being the rarest forms of ASD.

ASD Causes

Research has indicated that there may be multiple factors that cause autism spectrum disorder, including genetics (or your DNA, in other words) and environmental influences. Other more controversial links to autism spectrum disorders include parental age during fetal conception and gestational diabetes. It's important to note that scientists haven't established a definitive answer as to the cause of ASD.

ASD Diagnosis

When working with students with ASD in your classroom, you should be aware that symptoms vary with each individual. Children with ASD sometimes experience social, behavioral, or language difficulties. Symptoms of ASD may be evident between 18 to 24 months or even as early as nine months, when a child doesn't meet important developmental milestones, such as making eye contact, bonding with parents, making age-appropriate attempts to communicate, or sitting up, crawling, and walking without extensive support.

As a child with ASD continues to develop, there may be noticeable behaviors, such as repetitive or stereotypical behaviors like repeating certain phrases or words, flapping their hands, humming or rocking back and forth. The child may not engage with his peers or may prefer to play with objects, such as coat hangers and shoes, as opposed to playing with toys.

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