What is Autism?
IDEA specifically defines “autism” as follows:
developmental disability significantly affecting verbal and nonverbal
communication and social interaction, generally evident before age
three, that adversely affects a child’s educational performance.
characteristics often associated with autism are engaging in repetitive
activities and stereotyped movements, resistance to environmental
change or change in daily routines, and unusual responses to sensory
experiences. The term autism does not apply if the child’s educational
performance is adversely affected primarily because the child has an
emotional disturbance, as defined in IDEA.
- A child who
shows the characteristics of autism after age 3 could be diagnosed as
having autism if the criteria above are satisfied. [34 CFR §300.8(c)(1)]
are five disorders classified under the umbrella category officially
known as Pervasive Developmental Disorders, or PDD. As shown below,
- Asperger syndrome;
- Rett syndrome;
- childhood disintegrative disorder; and
- Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified (often referred to as PDD-NOS).
of the disorders on the autism spectrum is a neurological disorder that
affects a child’s ability to communicate, understand language, play,
and relate to others. They share some or all of the following
characteristics, which can vary from mild to severe:
- Communication problems (for example, with the use
or comprehension of language);
- Difficulty relating to people, things, and events;
- Playing with toys and objects in unusual ways;
- Difficulty adjusting to changes in routine or to familiar surroundings; and
- Repetitive body movements or behaviors.
to the 2000 edition of the DSM-IV, a diagnosis of autistic disorder (or
“classic” autism) is made when a child displays 6 or more of 12
symptoms across three major areas:
- social interaction (such as the inability to establish or maintain relationships with peers appropriate to the level of the child’s development),
- communication (such as the absence of language or delays in its development), and
- behavior (such as repetitive preoccupation with one or more areas of interest in a way that is abnormal in its intensity or focus).
Some resources for more information dealing with Autism are listed below:
Books for Children and Parents:
Rules by Cynthia Lord
the curious incident of the dog in the night-time by mark haddon
http://www.amazon.com/Childrens-Books-on-Autism/lm/RZ40DG71A1U69 (this weblink will take you to a listing of books on autism)
Books for Teens/Parents/Caregivers/Teachers:
House Rules by Jodi Picoult
Daniel isn’t Talking by Marti Leimbach
Look me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger’s by John Elder Robison
Thinking in Pictures by Temple Grandin
A Parent's Guide to Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism: How to Meet the Challenges and Help Your Child Thrive by Sally Oxonaff, Geraldine Dawson & James McPartland, Guilford Press.
No More Meltdowns: Positive Strategies for Managing and Preventing Out-of-Control Behavior by Jed Baker, Ph. D.
Incredible 5-Point Scale: Assisting students with autism spectrum
disorders in understanding social interactions and controlling their
emotional responses by Kari Dunn Buron and Mitzi Curtis.
Engaging Autism: The Floortime Approach to Helping Children Relate, Communicate and Think, by Stanley I. Greenspan, M.D. and Serena Wieder, Ph.d. (2006), PerseusBooks.
The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children, by Ross. W. Greene, Harper Collins Publishing.
The Hidden Curriculum: Practical Solutions for Understanding Unstated Rules in Social Situations, by Brenda Smith Myles, Melissa L. Trautman, and Ronda L. Schelvan, Autism Asperger Publishing.
Kids, Parents, and Power Struggles: Winning for a Lifetime, by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka, Quill Publishing.
Social Goals in the Classroom: A Guide for Teachers and Parents of
Children with High-Functioning Autism & Asperger Syndrome, by Rebecca A. Moyles & Susan J. Moreno, Jessica Kingsley Publishing.
Visual Strategies for Improving Communication, by Linda A. Hodgdon, Quirk Roberts, Publishing.
Social Skills Training for Children and Adolexcents with Asperger Syndrome and Social-Communication Problems, by Jed Baker, Autism Asperger Publishing
Websites: (there are many, below is a brief list)
Center – is an affiliate of UCP and has an office in Utica and
Morrisville. They are dedicated to providing autism services across the
lifespan. Their website - http://www.kelbermancenter.org
CASD - Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders: http://casd.binghamton.edu/
Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders (CASD) was established in fall
2007 and is affiliated with Binghamton University. The CASD is dedicated
to disseminating information to educators, community professionals, and
other service providers regarding evidence-based practices to improve
services provided to children with autism spectrum disorders and their
Autism Society - Improving the Lives of All Affected by Autism:
CARD - CENTER FOR AUTISM AND RELATED DISABILITIES: HTTP://WWW.ALBANY.EDU/AUTISM/
CARD IS AFFILIATED WITH THE UNIVERSITY AT ALBANY, STATE UNIVERSITY OF
NEW YORK. THEIR MISSION IS TO PROVIDEEXPERTISE IN AUTISM SPECTRUM
DISORDERS WHILE INTEGRATING RESEARCH, TRAINING, & PRACTICE.
Autism Speaks - http://www.autismspeaks.org/
Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Bob and Suzanne Wright,
grandparents of a child with autism. Their longtime friend Bernie Marcus
donated $25 million to help financially launch the organization. Since
then, Autism Speaks has grown into the nation's largest autism science
and advocacy organization, dedicated to funding research into the
causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing
awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of
individuals with autism and their families.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders - http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/autism/detail_autism.htm
Fact sheets, additional resources and links are on this site
CDC – Centers for Disease control and prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/freematerials.html
Additional websites include:
Videos/TV shows/movies with characters who present as individuals on the ASD spectrum:
HBO special movie on Temple Grandin- http://www.hbo.com/movies/temple-grandin/index.html
(Temple Grandin - Doctor of Animal Science and professor at Colorado
State University, bestselling author, and consultant to the livestock
industry in animal behavior.
Bones – (tv series) character, Temperance “Bones” Brenan
Fringe – (tv series) character, Astrid Farnsworth
Big Bang Theory (tv series) - character, Sheldon Cooper and Amy Fowler (girlfriend)
Boston Legal (tv series) – character, Jerry Espenson
Parenthood (tv series) – character, Max (son)
Grey’s Anatomy (tv series) – character, Mary McDonnell
There are a number of Youtube videos about Aspergers/Autism.
One is ‘Asperger’s Syndrome Documentary’ - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAfWfsop1e0
A teen with autism tries to explain what autism is like - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3PwG36iKH8&feature=related